I’m greatly enjoying “Side by Side”, the CCEF National Conference in Virginia Beach! Along with some excellent teaching and wonderful times of singing together with a couple thousand other worshippers, I get the opportunity to see the sun RISE out of the Atlantic Ocean instead of SET into the Pacific Ocean.
The focus of this conference is twofold: that we are both needy and needed. In order for the church to truly be a place where deep change and maturity toward Godliness happens, we as God’s people must embrace both of those realities. If we emphasize one without the other, we will get stuck. If we focus only on our neediness–without realizing that in our neediness we have significant ministry to offer to other needy people–we will get stuck in a “victim” mentality and go down the dead-end road of self-pity and resentment. But on the other hand, if we focus only on the fact that we are needed–without seeing the true state of our own souls that are sinful and weak apart from God’s sovereign grace and healing–we will get stuck in a “messiah complex” and go down the dead-end road of self-righteousness and pride.
But…if we can embrace the humbling reality of our own sin and suffering, knowing that we are no better off than the person God may be calling us to minister to, and at the same time embrace the equally humbling reality that our greatest place of ministry to others often comes out of our greatest weakness and need, then together we can walk side by side carrying out the “one anothers” of Scripture. And in that place, we will grow through the ministry of others around us, and God will use us to help others grow as well. That is how He designed the Body to function!