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“How’s the work going?” That is the question I am asked more times than not in regard to the church plant here in Corpus Christi, TX. Of course, my answer is always, “It’s going great”. But what does that mean, really? How do you interpret my answer of “It’s going great”? In your mind, does “great” mean problems are non-existent? When I say “great” do you picture people vying for the best seats in the auditorium? Does “great” mean the offering plates are over-flowing, or do you picture the altars filled with people who have rushed forward to do business with God during the invitation? In your mind’s eye do you see multitudes of people accepting Christ as their Savior by my response of “great”? Or do you see our baptistery waters being stirred every week? I’ve never actually asked, but I wonder what my answer of “great” really means to you.
In reality, “great” is relative. “Great” is only “great” if compared to something not so great. What makes something “great”? Well, I can tell you this. We are not seeing people lined up at the door waiting for a chance to get the best seats. In fact, most times our auditorium is uncomfortably empty. Furthermore, in the four months since we started the church, we haven’t been successful in getting anyone to come to Sunday school, Sunday evening or Wednesday evening services. I can also tell you that rarely does anyone step out of their seat to walk to the altar to do “business” with God after hearing the preaching on Sunday morning. We averaged about 28 people during the month of January of 2013, and of those 28, only 2 people actually tithed. So far, we have only led 6 people to Christ and we have baptized no one. So why then do I answer the question, “How’s the work going?” with “It’s going great”? Because it’s all about perspective!
The work is going great because I serve a great God! The God of the work is always faithful and rock steady when the work of God is sometimes static and allusive. God is abiding. His word is abiding. As we walk with God, no matter what the day brings forth, it’s better than facing it without God. Therefore, it’s great. The work of God can produce fleeting results and flighty people but even still, a day of witnessing for Jesus with no visible results is far better than a day in jail or sitting behind a vacant building somewhere in this old city with a bottle of wine. Therefore, it’s great. Having the sublime privilege of preaching the word of God to 17 hearers on a Sunday morning with no one coming to the altar is indeed better than a Sunday spent in bed with a hangover. Therefore, it’s great. To have a wife at my side whose faith in God is real and her love and belief in her husband is constant is beyond great! I couldn’t imagine life where money was not an issue but my wife did not believe in God and her confidence in her husband was non-existent. The work is great because its premise is the promises of God. Those promises don’t cause me to see the work through rose-colored glasses, but through the window of God’s truth. Those promises have not misguided me to believe that I will be “mega-successful” as man and the world define “success”, nor do they keep the God-given dreams and aspirations of my heart at bay. God’s success is not elusive, but it is not a destination either. God’s success is found in the journey. It is found in the daily and even hourly joys of life in Christ.
Enjoy the journey. It’s great!