Time Out: Weekly quiet times for the youth worker’s soul.
Over the next year, on the first Monday of the month, we’re going to be running a series within Time Out called, “Life Lessons,” by Jerry Schmoyer (Tim’s dad). Here’s a note from Jerry:
As I approach retirement age and look back on a lifetime of ministry I realize there are some important principles I have learned. I’d like to share some of these with you. I’m sure God is teaching you these same truths and I hope that explaining them from my perspective can benefit you and your ministry.
When my wife and I travel outside our area it seems God always puts other Christians in our way. We look forward to our paths crossing with these friends whom we just haven’t met yet! Recently we traveled to Puerto Rico and God sprinkled a steady stream of believers throughout our trip. When I go to India the help and support of believers there is essential. The further I am from home the more I appreciate fellowship with a brother or sister in Jesus.
Even when I’m not traveling, I’m still quite far from my real home in heaven. Here, too, fellowship with other believers is very important. Close contact with believers I have know a long time is a precious, valuable asset to my life’s journey. The older I become the more I value Christian fellowship: with those I’m known a lifetime as well as with those I just meet in passing.
I’m been learning through the years how to let people get closer to me and how I can get to know them deeper as well. Instead of seeing them as assets (or stumbling blocks) to what I want to accomplish in ministry, I am appreciating others more and more as fellow travelers who are making their way to the same eternal city I am. I enjoy their friendship, need their encouragement and learn from their example. A long, hard journey is always easier when in the company of faithful companions. That is why God gives us each other to help us through this life.
Have you noticed how an instant bond is formed when you find someone you just met is a Christian? It doesn’t matter what culture or country they come from, what color they are or what language they speak. We share the same values and priorities. We have the same world view. Jesus in me connects with Jesus in them. We are children of the same Father – and that makes us brothers and sisters. We fight the same enemy. We’ll spend eternity together, so why not start enjoying each other while here?
When I’m in a different culture, in the United States or another country, its obvious we do ‘church’ and ministry differently. But for all our differences we are really the same. We have the same enemy, the same struggles and the same source of victory.
Jesus Himself needed human fellowship. He would withdraw from the crowds and get away with just the disciples. He needed them. Unfortunately they weren’t always there for Him, like in Gethsemane before His arrest. However if He needed others we certainly do as well. The more I progress in life and ministry the more I realize how much I need other believers and what a blessing it is that God puts them in my life.
- Acts 2:42, “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.”
- Hebrews 10:25, “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another — and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”
- Do you really appreciate other believers in your life, or do you just see them as tools to use in helping you accomplish your ministry goals?
- How much time a week do you spend in Christian fellowship – fun and closeness with no agenda but to enjoy each other?
- When do you most need the support and fellowship of other believers?
- Think of those in your past whom God has used to really help you on your journey. Pray for them. Thank them (mail, email or in person) again today for the role they played in your life.
Posted on October 3, 2011