Heroes in the Ordinary


All of us admire people who’ve achieved great things in life. We are drawn by heroism in every sphere of life. We want to be like them or be associated with them. You might actually say all our history and moral stories are written with the hero in mind. It’s the man who beat the odds and achieved what looked impossible that has a story to tell. It’s the man who’s brought up a family and educated his children amidst all kinds of challenges that we admire. It’s the leader who’s lead well and made fortunes for his people that wins a legacy. The man who inspires is the one who stood and fought for what he believed to be right even when the whole world was against him. Hero mentality shapes a lot of what we do and desire.

I actually think the recent push in churches on getting people to know their God given purpose is informed by this. We want to believe there’s something great only we can achieve and when we find it then we’ll have made it in life. If we can find something to live for then our lives will count for something. We’ll make it in life leaving an impact and we believe God will be happy with us. Anyone who is a dreamer lives in that world and we cheer them on to keep dreaming. All dreams are valid and the sky is the limit we say.

Some of us aim for higher goals, to become a household name or at least a man of influence in our circles. But then we grow up and realize somethings are not as easy as we had dreamt. Still we hope we’ll make a significant contribution where God has placed us. And at the very least we hope people will remember us for something. Something to be said on our funeral that we did right and lived for. Of course life is not always as linear and we can get bitter, selfish and disillusioned to care for anything. But still for the most part we admire heroism even if only to be associated with it.

Here I’m not just thinking of the public space but even within family. We want to go past where our parents reached or be like them if we deemed them successful. Men want to emulate other men who have done great things for their families however they define that. Dad wants their children to grow up admiring them or at least go beyond them. Women want to be associated with great men whether at home or in the society. We are all drunk with heroism until something else replaces that good addiction. I think the problem with us is we are always looking at the end of the story not the process. For the most part we think it’s an event that will scale us high to raise our heroic flag. It’ll be an impossible situation that only we could help out. It’ll be an instant that calls us to rise to the occasion and showcase our greatness.

But while we know a lot of heroes by key moments in history they are actually defined long before in the ordinary life. They are heroes before they climb the Everest or stand for what’s right. It’s because they stood the ground in the ordinary that they can withstand pressure when it comes to the key moments. But for the most part they are just ordinary people like you and me. Now we don’t have a lot of documented ordinary stories of heroes because for the most part that doesn’t sell. But where we do we realize our heroes are more ordinary than we realize.

I was just thinking about the heroes of faith, pardon me if that’s not something you subscribe to. But if you look at the so called heroes of faith like in Hebrews 11, yes you see great extraordinary things they did that defined them. But if you looked closely you’d also realise a lot of ordinariness that we miss. That they were actually normal people with weaknesses and some made serious blunders in life. But they’re recorded as heroes because of what they believed and were willing to stand and where need be, die for. That faith made them scale high in history but for the most part they applied it in the ordinary life. They were just normal people living for what they believed and sometimes even had their doubts.

Think about Abraham the father of faith. Most people know him for his willingness to leave his home to follow God, for trusting God for a son in old age and even being ready to sacrifice him in obedience and faith to God. But the whole story of Abraham that is undocumented is mostly a man living ordinary life and trusting God to fulfill his promise. Theres a lot of waiting time and Abraham isn’t always a saint through and through. Remember his story in Egypt? Take any other character in the list and you’ll see that one, they were human, weak and sinful. Second, for many we know them by key moments of faith and not much else. But third, we realize that faith must have been practised not only in the key moments but in the ordinary life.

I think it’s the ordinary that shapes heroes long before it comes to a key moment. Think about the greatest of those heroes, our Lord Jesus. The world knows him for his death and resurrection, the sermon on the mountain and maybe his controversy with the religious class. But looking at his life however exceptional we read in a lot of ordinary life. He’s walking with his disciples, he’s eating in a tax collectors house and sometimes he’s hungry and disappointed. But what makes it all different is that his faith permeates through the ordinary. His faith and trust in God doesn’t just appear at the tail end of his life but is evident all through and through.

Perhaps we should focus more on the ordinary life even as we dream of the tail end that defines our heroism. Don’t just dream of one day standing and willing to die for what you believe. Practise what you believe in the ordinary away from the limelight. Because if one day we might call you a hero you’ll have been one long before in the ordinary. When it comes to it the process is what makes heroes in the end. It’s how we live in the ordinary life that will shape us into what we aspire to be. If we do this we might realise it’s easier to be a hero than we imagine. Take one day at a time, live for God and apply what you believe.

True Christian heroism is defined not only by where we stand at the end but by the process. It’s in the ordinary that our sanctification is achieved. It’s in the ordinary that we live for God and our faith shines in this life. When we are at home raising our kids. At school when we are preparing for that exam. In that marriage not on special days. When we are in that office on a Tuesday and it’s just a normal day at work. The difference is our faith should permeate all through it. Our heroism is shaped not by key moments but in the ordinary. And at the end it’s how we lived in the ordinary that will count.

13 Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind.14 For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.

Ecclesiastes 12.

Local Church in a Virtual World


COVID has sent us through a roller coaster of restrictions in the last couple of months. One day you are struggling to get to church because you allowed yourself to watch a series late into Saturday night. Next day you have to stay indoors and stream through online Sunday service. Sometimes you hope they could cut down on some church events but you enjoy the freedom to be there. You go back to physical meeting before the next spike of infections hits and you are back to your Sunday sofa. I must say it’s quite a drain when everything else is also online.

But now we are in that phase where we can actually go back to the church building. There’s something with freedom that excites all of us even when we might not pursue it. We all want freedom to go anywhere any time even when we might not really be interested to. But for a country with a Christian majority who cherish the place of church community this is good news to many. So I’m quite eager to go back to the church building and meet up with the church family this Sunday. But I was just wondering whether this is a shared desire across the board. What’s the place of a local physical church in this virtual world?

The virtual world has brought the church into our living rooms. You’ve got access to some of the best preaching in the world and the license to lazy indoors on Sunday morning as we try to fight COVID. It’s really a dream come true for many for all kind of reasons, good and bad. You could say evangelistically this is a good thing as churches now must compete for the virtual space. But what becomes of the local physical church when the Global church is a switch away. What will motivate us to leave our homes, sometimes having to travel miles away to access a church with far less polished preaching and classy music?

If church is purely a preaching podium we really have no reason to leave the comfort of the sofa. Perhaps for us who think so highly of good Gospel preaching this is a reminder about the value of the church community. But if church was merely a community of like minded fellows with a performance in front then still that won’t get me off the couch. It’s easier to work that around my comfort. We can go mountain climbing in the afternoon, do Sunday lunch or better still do all that on Saturday for a lazy Sunday. That should challenge those of us for whom church is more of a social community club.

There’s a third category we easily forget, those who attend to serve for good or bad motivations. I’m an usher at church and I’ve got to say there’s a fulfilment that comes with seeing people welcomed well and everything flowing smoothly. So I don’t want to be hard on these guys. Actually statistics in this country will tell you volunteer members not preachers run churches. But without a community centered and influenced by faithful Gospel preaching there’s no life-changing basis for service. We may as well volunteer to serve in community humanitarian project.

For this reason I think these three arms must converge to get me out of the house. There’s a desire to hear from God as the Gospel is taught from the Bible. To sit and serve in a community lead and informed by the Gospel. The church community unlike a social club is not based merely on shared ideals and ambitions but a people built and informed by the Gospel. Service is not just for fulfilment or to earn points with God but an overflow of the Gospel teaching. And the sermon isn’t just a presentation or entertainment slot but a meal time for the Gospel community.

If we idolize any of these the local church will be in serious danger in our virtual world. Where preaching is all that matters then I won’t feel the need to bear with unclear and unpolished preachers when I could easily turn on the TV. And I will detest the local church even more when I have to serve and live among difficult sinful people. On the other hand, if community is all I want then soon I’ll find people who fit my ideology and they don’t have to call themselves a church. In any case I can stream services and catch up with friends later. And serving where the church isn’t built on Gospel preaching in a Gospel community makes no lasting difference. You might do more helping in an orphanage.

I would like to confess that I’m in the category that is prone to sometimes value good faithful preaching far and above Gospel community. Maybe serving comes second as a response to the Gospel. But such a view sees a Jesus who only made sermons and went home. It misses all the time spent with hard hearted disciples who would later desert, betray and deny him. And yet he died for them and went after them first thing after his resurrection.

I’m preparing to teach Exodus in the coming weeks and you can’t read Old Testament and miss how God values community. God’s people cannot merely be defined by preaching good sermons. God’s people are called into a Gospel community, to be a community set apart for God. The two go together.

5 Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, 6 you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites.”

Exodus 19

The church is not a preaching class but a Gospel community set apart for God. But those who sacrifice good Gospel preaching for community need to be warned of another community that sacrificed the Saviour to keep the peace of the community. The value of community and unity though priceless for God’s people can also become a snare where Gospel Truth is not the foundation. And we cannot afford to sacrifice faithful Gospel preaching for a get-along society otherwise we miss why we exist in the first place. If we tread on that path then our high priests will soon crucify the Gospel to keep their positions.

49 Then one of them, named Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, spoke up, “You know nothing at all! 50 You do not realize that it is better for you that one man die for the people than that the whole nation perish.”

John 11

As we walk back to church my prayer is that we’ll go back joyous and thankful for this freedom. But also with a renewed commitment to Gospel preaching, the Gospel community and ready to roll our sleeves to serve the church family wholeheartedly. To be quick to listen and built up by God’s Word through the preaching and ministry of the church family. But also ready to be corrected and rebuked from the Gospel by the church community. We need the church family for our growth and sanctification more than we realize. And after spending a lot of time without meeting physically you can be sure we’ve picked up bad habits for our soul that need a gentle rebuke.

I pray the Lord will help us whatever our blind spots are when it comes to our view of the local church. That God’s Word will capture our hearts, minds and hands to serve God and his people without hesitation. I pray we’ll quickly move past bad habits picked up from the Livestream couch. To not expect to be served but to delight in serving others. To not only feed but also be a blessing to the church family. To not only complain but participate. To be quick to receive rebuke from our brothers and sisters in Christ and slow to take offence. That’s what makes the local church different in a consumerist world especially when we can get everything we want virtually.

Truth and Justice with False Freedom


The price of undermining truth is paid by the miscarriage of justice. It’s negotiated in the ordinary day to day and only in a crisis do we realize just what we traded off. It’s a bribe here, a small token or threat, a small white lie that harms no one. It’s the day to day lies that give birth to the greatest scams and bloodshed the world has ever known. They say the devil is in the details. And whenever we see justice denied the details show truth was undermined ages before sometimes even from both sides of the court room.

Problem is we always tend to focus on the big revelation, the latest scandal. We are wowed how they could pull it off. Our minds are focused on the blast above the surface not the bomb that caused it. We must realise that justice cannot be attained without truth having its day. And we can’t fix the building up if the foundation is shaky. We must realize how crucial the foundation of truth is not just among the political class but among us all in our day to day ordinary life.

You see our world cares less of truth but wails at all the injustice we face. We detest discrimination, unless we are the ones it favours. We get furious when others are picked ahead of us. But nothing brings us to agreement than our selfish pursuit. We cry of injustice while we demand we should have the first right. Justice will never prevail until the day we realise we are all the accused and have been found guilty of not only neglecting justice but undermining truth.

To most people truth doesn’t matter as long as there’s fairness and justice. But that’s a mad conclusion same as saying you can have milk without feeding the cow. Fairness and justice is the fruit of a society built on truth. It’s where men and women are governed by the teaching and practice of the truth in the day to day that the society can enjoy the milk of justice. Where certain men don’t decided on what works for them but everyone is a slave to the Truth.

It’s worse in our world where everyone lives by their own code. I mean how do you even measure what amounts to injustice if we don’t even agree on absolute truth. Someone robs from the government believing that money belongs to no one. In his mind and by his own judgement he has not sinned against anyone. Actually he lives in a culture that tells him he should take advantage of the opportunity he has to accumulate as much as he can for himself and those close to him.

Without a guiding principle beyond our own desires and self interest truth is undermined and justice is ultimately denied. At first it seems like nothing. The price too cheap for the personal and even the seemingly corporate gains but with time we all come to realise how wrong we were. When it’s said and done our problem is we would rather trade off truth in the name of freedom for the pursuit of our self interest. And if that’s our choice then injustice shouldn’t surprise us because that’s what we’ll get in the end.

In all my wildest dreams and craving for freedom, freedom to do whatever I want whenever I want with whomever I want without a bother on whomever it affects I must consider the price I must pay in the long run. That in the meantime I might get the rush to be on top of the world but when chicken come home to roost I will pay dearly for my choice. If everyone else lives by this code it won’t be long before we all have to pay the price. And you know what, however much we try to cheat the system we or our children will surely pay for it. Truth and justice is sacrificed on the altar of our false freedom.

It seems to me that’s it’s only reasonable to abide and be a custodian of truth because only he can shield us from the evil of everyone else’s pursuit of uncaring self interest. Sure that means I won’t get everything I want here and now but I will get a fair and righteous society that safeguards the weak and vulnerable. Where truth is the the guiding principle justice for all will flourish.

What’s interesting is that it’s actually the pursuit of truth that delivers not only justice but freedom. Jesus taught that believing and holding to his Gospel teaching is actually what would ultimately free us. Truth delivers justice with true freedom.

31 To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8.

Imagine that! We run away from God and his message because we want to be free of him to do whatever we want. We try that for this world and we lose not just truth but all it’s fruits including justice and what’s worse, we lose freedom too. For every false reward the world gives you it takes everything that really matters as the price. Our world is a living testament of that. We are better off with the shackles of truth than we are left on our devices. Pursuit of Gospel truth in place of self interest delivers the justice we crave for all and the true freedom we yearn for so much now and fully in eternity.


Tongues are the eyes of the Heart


I’m keeping this in and taking it to the grave
I keep it close to my heart never letting go
It’s a dirty linen to keep away from the world
Not for a man of my stature to be exposed
But how long can you lie to a mouth?


Kings and nations have hidden great secrets
People have died in the name of secret affairs
Secrecy might be the most notorious criminal
But what secrets hide tongues confess
Mouths reveal in seconds what hearts hide for years


People are enslaved for years by hidden sin
Families tiptoe around unspoken rules and lies
But tongues are always free to let it out
What the heart digs in, mouths dig out
In a flash tongues burn mountains of secrets


Within no time you are caught in the act
When the mouth speaks the heart is exposed
No one is safe with an open mouth
None can hide where the tongue is loose
Because tongues are the eyes of the heart


No man can make an alliance with a tongue
It’ll betray you early in the morning
But if you want true freedom then be ready to be caught
Speak it out, shame the heart and free the soul
If you confess you’ll never have to fear your mouth again


Don’t tiptoe around life fearing what people might see
Don’t enslave your heart with hidden sin
Let the mouth tell on you before God
Use that tongue to confess the mud of the heart
And run to him for his Gospel eternal rescue


The World is Changing, One man at a Time


I don’t know whether it’s ingrained in us

Perhaps it’s because of our environment

But there’s a desire in most of us for change

There’s a cry in our hearts to see a difference

A craving to turn the world upside down


It’s in my dreams, it consumes my daydreaming

I see it everywhere, the cry for something more

Some call it activism, they call for a revolution

But leaders alone can’t bring the change we want

We need more, we need a complete overhaul


Leaders can only do so much for us

First of all we need to get them right

But even the best of leaders won’t do

The problem is far much deeper

The system is completely broken


Education, activism and being woke

Growing new leaders, voting right

All these might help for the time being

But if we want true change we need more

We need a people changed from within


We will never taste the change we so crave

Not until every one of us is changed

Changed from deep within us, made anew

Changed to value others more than ourselves

Changed to lay down our lives for others


We need real lasting change and it’s happening

We need change from within and you can see it

Where you ask? Everywhere the Gospel lands

Everywhere hearts are won for Christ change is happening

For the Gospel is changing the world one man at a time


It’s slow and almost unrecognisable but it’s happening

For every man who receives the Gospel is made new

Made new in the likeness of the best of men

Born again in the likeness of the new Adam

The Gospel is changing us, One man at a time


Watching the News with a Bible

I think as you get older you start paying attention to the News and you even get excited wanting to know what’s happening around you. I’m one of those who easily gets glued to a political talk show. I don’t know if I should apologize for that. But I’ve always loved debates and I really enjoy the heated engagement. I want a taste of true genius in responding to questions and a bit of that sneaky avoidance of difficult questions. But I also want to hear of leaders that know the plight of my fellow citizens and seem to have care and concern for our future.  

In general though I want to watch news lest I keep looking like the only alien in the country. I want to be in that class that is in the know of how things are going down here before the Lord calls me up there. My only problem is the more I read the paper and tune in to the latest, the more I feel angry, disappointed and disgusted by what’s happening in this country and the world at large. It’s not once that I have decided to stop watching news altogether, stop paying the license to watch TV only to find myself searching the news channel on YouTube or going for the free options.

Thing is even if I succeeded in turning off that TV and Radio, Social Media won’t let me off the hook that easily. And most importantly I do want to be in the know. I don’t want to be one of those Christians we used to say in Campus that they live in heaven and only appear to attend Class in the morning. I want to think about my world and apply my faith in this sphere. I want to be someone who speaks to the culture and my friends while knowing what goes around them. But neither do I want to keep wounding my soul with endless stories of the latest murder, the latest scandal and the greed of politicians. You can see my dilemma!

And so like we are asked to do with everything I applied the Golden rule of Christian living and asked myself what the Gospel tells me in this situation? How am I to approach my News Channel biblically? As it turns out at our Church (Gracepoint Church Kikuyu) we are just turning to a new Exposition series through the dreadful Judges after the Glorious book of Joshua. Honestly, every time I contemplate reading the book of Judges I get scared a bit because I still can’t believe it’s in the Bible and the people in it are actually the chosen race of God’s priests. But Judges and the Bible in whole resolves this dilemma.

The Bible doesn’t try to hide or water down the true nature of humanity even when it’s speaking about God’s people. It tells me that what I watch in the News is a just a tip of the iceberg. Man is desperately corrupt and without God’s grace of godly leadership he is capable of the most heinous of acts. It tells me that when things work out like you see in Joshua it’s because God is in charge and when man gets his way, well, then you have Judges. So I shouldn’t be surprised about what happens around me. That’s just the true color of man. But I do need to look elsewhere as I watch all this and that’s where the Gospel lands.

If I keep watching the news I’m either going to get so disgusted that I have to stop which is hard to run away in this social Media world. Alternatively, I might just get so used and so numb to what happens that it no longer scares me or makes me at least uncomfortable. And I don’t want to get there as I don’t think that’s biblically healthy. But I think there’s a last and far better option and that’s to read my Newspaper with my Bible. To watch the News and scroll down that Timeline with one eye but have the Bible informing me on the other.

Christians cannot afford to keep feeding on these News without God’s Word refreshing and detoxing our system. We need the News Channel to remind us where we live and the desperate need of the Gospel. But we also need the Bible, the teaching and encouragement of the Gospel to have true hope beyond this world. Jesus had an option to pick us up as soon as we received the Gospel and take us with him. But he left us here knowing so well the world we live in and what happens down here. Why? Well, as he says in John 16:33, because he has overcome the world.

33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

John 16

Through the message and the hope of the Gospel we are able to overcome the negative tide of this world. Where the world paints it’s ugliness on our walls and recommends useless escape plans. God in the Gospel gives us real hope and power to face the ranging storm. I think the News should send us running to the message of the Gospel as taught by the Bible. When I hear the latest murder, the rottenness exposed by investigative media and the latest Corruption scandal, I should see this from the Gospel eye.

I shouldn’t be surprised although I can’t help it sometimes. I shouldn’t seek to run away though I may need to apply some measures to safeguard my soul and those with children may need to think more seriously about this. But in the face of all this the Bible tells me it’s not completely hopeless for us who believe.  Though the natural man is rotten there’s hope for the new man, created in the image of the best of men, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Jesus lived in this world and he conquered it living in holiness and obedience to our Father. And through the Gospel and his ever present help so will we make it.

In the next Chapter of John in Ch. 17 the Lord Jesus prays for his disciples throughout all generations:

15 My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. 17 Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. John 17

John 17

He calls on the Father to sanctify and set apart his children by the message of the True Gospel. The evil one would want us to see the hopelessness in our world and fall for rage, insults or escapism. But the Gospel faces our world head on exposing its ugly belly and pointing us to our only hope which is found only in Christ. We need to apply the Gospel in every sphere of life to be healthy Christians. And I believe that applies to my News consumption and engagement, to what I read and write on my Social Media walls.  

#ReadtheNewspaperwithyourBible # GospelandCulture # ChristianWorldview

The name of the Lord is suffering even today!


It’s not bad enough that Christ suffered on that hill for us.
That he was beaten, mocked, chastised and killed for you and I
That his justice was denied and the innocent killed for my sin
That the most holy God was drowned in the sewage of your sin
But he was cast away, ripped from his eternal union to take my judgement


It wasn’t bad enough that he was rejected by those he came to save
That the very ones he sought to redeem cried out for his death
That his very disciples betrayed, denied and deserted the Saviour
But even today his message is maligned and his people twist his Gospel
Like our forefathers we reject, deny and undermine his claim on us


It was bad enough that all his apostles suffered for his message
That his people were called a cult and cast away from Israel
But today his name is used as a curse word, a play word for children
His eternal rule is ridiculed and none fears the Lion of Judah
Everyone trembles at human rulers but laughs at his face


It was cruel and futile enough for the former governments to attack him
But in every age and every state they rebel and renounce his claim
The world of today like yesterday treats him the same if not worse
They treat his message, his claim and his people the same way
None considers the humble Passover lamb is the ferocious Lion of Judah


But it’s worse in his own church and among his own disciples
By word, deed and testimony we betray, deny and desert him
Some twist his message for their own gain, laying a claim on his people
Others claim to hold out his Gospel but by their conduct deny it’s truth
And the many forget his very existence, rarely seeking to live for him daily


We may look down on those who killed and tortured our Saviour
We may despise the early disciples and the first church
But we need to ask, are we any better today or worse?
Is the risen Christ alive in our sermons, in our witness and living?
Is he the Lord and Saviour, ruler and God of us and everything we possess?


Our world doesn’t mind a full weekend holiday in his name
But it must consider the fate of sin as seen on that Good Friday
If God didn’t spare his innocent son for the sins of the world
What makes you think he’ll overlook yours that fully deserve judgement?
Run to him for his Easter refuge or prepare for the judgement of eternal hell


One Last Thought


When your breath fades
And you hear the last bells
When a voice whispers in your mind
And deep in thought your hear a last word
I wonder what will come to mind one last time


What will become of my life?
Who will look after the children?
What of my life plans and ambitions?
What legacy do I leave behind after me?
I doubt where you leave will matter that much.


Perhaps it’s what left undone
The future you never got to enjoy
That trip, that job, a final expedition
I think it’s more how you leave that matters
What awaits me across the bridge of life and death?


When I close my last what will happen?
Who will receive me across the river ahead?
What will become of my soul on this other side?
Eternal peace and salvation or the lake of eternal fire
When it comes to it how you leave will matter the most


It may seem like a millennia away
But one day you’ll surely have your last
The worst thing is it might come suddenly
You may never have all the time and space to think
So I thought I should give you this chance here and now


Let’s dream and reconsider this life
Begin from the end coming backwards
Have that last thought now before it’s too late
Make it the most exciting thought you’ll have then
To know tonight I’ll surely be with my Saviour forever


Run to him before the end comes
Make him your rest and refuge today
A hiding place when the worst happens
Make your last thought your best thought
To know he’ll be happy to receive your above


I want to See Him


When I miss the light of day
And the moon denies me her gaze
When the mountains sink behind
And there’s no waters to swim again
My one and only desire is to see Him


When my body gives in to pain
And I succumb to the way of life
I want to wake and see him
See him who made me his own
Him who conquered my rebellious heart


I want above everything to see his hands
Touch his head and his side
See the wounds that bought me life
Touch the scars that healed my sin-sickness
When I close my eyes, I want to see Him


I want to sit at his feet forever
To tap from his eternal wisdom
Of all the gold and riches
I will pay anything to be his audience
To hear from the true breath of life


I long and yearn for that eternal Day
To see in full what his Word teaches
I daydream and get lost in imagination
Longing and waiting to hear his trumpet
To wake up to be with my Saviour forever


When Calling Fails, the Gospel prevails


People get into their line of work for all kinds of reasons. For some it’s their talent, passion and gifting, others saw a need they wanted met while for others, well, that was all that was on offer. The dream is when they love their job and find fulfilment in it. They have a reason to wake up everyday and take risks because they believe in what they do. That’s what anyone wants for their pastor. That they love the Lord and his people which makes them ready and happy to go the extra mile.

But quite often people lose the passion that got them through the door. It happens to everyone for all kinds of reasons and it applies even to ministers of the Word. These streets are full of people who rise up early and come home late because they have to. What else would they do? They have bills to pay, children to school and families that depend on them. But we don’t stop to imagine our pastor maybe on the same category. I mean he works for God, he changes people’s lives, he offers hope and has a whole community cheering him on. Surely he must love his job and can’t wait for Sunday.

In truth, and contrary to what a lot of people think, your pastor is a normal human being. He has the same struggle sometimes to get out of bed and preach that powerful sermon. Home visits might not be what he looks forward to. But more to our topic of interest he may not be finding as much fulfilment from the job as you may think.
Now we want to start with the assumption that he first got in for the right reasons, that he saw a Gospel need and realised God had given him the gifts and training fit for it. That he couldn’t wait to reach the lost and disciple others for the rest of his life.

But then a few years in things haven’t gone exactly how he thought, there’s the burden he carries for the flock, his own family in addition to the struggle with his own sin. On the other hand, perhaps things are great, the church is growing and his life is stable but he has lost that first fire to wake up everyday, take every opportunity to do his share of Kingdom business.

Worst case scenario he’s been in this rut for quite some time now and he can’t see a way out. Now some of you out there would think well maybe he should quit. But it’s more complicated than that, first what else would he do? What about his bills, family and his own reputation? You see his predicament? Now add that like the many people who don’t like their jobs he has to keep doing it for the foreseeable future. Then you’d have a lot to worry about if you are part of his congregation for his sake and the church.

Now, I know I’m painting a rather extreme picture and one that negates God’s ever present grace, encouragement from the Word, fellow ministers and the congregation. But I’m doing this because when it comes to ministry I find sometimes people don’t see things realistically. They never imagine what happens to so many people in our midst might happen or is happening to their minister as well. We think because God called him he’ll always be firely for the Gospel and passionate about pastoral work. Yet we know even the most fulfilling of jobs have bad weeks and passion can fade with time.

Supposing I’ve convinced you of the possibility of this happening then we ask what should be done. What kind of measures and strategies should we lay down in place to spring the man of God back to the horse. Perhaps a better ministry language is how can we pray, help and encourage our minister to fan the flame, see 2 Tim 1:6? We are in the right territory here and my answer is one the Gospel, second Gospel love and third prayer not in any order. You could easily say the Gospel is the answer.

When calling fails, and I don’t want to debate how extreme that sounds, what will keep one going is a constant reminder why they got in the first place. They got in because God drew them in by his Gospel, he transformed them by the power of the Gospel and gave them his passion for the lost by the calling of the Gospel. The beauty of Gospel ministry is what gets us through the door is what will keep us on the family business. The fire might dwindle and the enemy might get us doubting and despairing but when we come back to the Gospel in the scriptures the power, the strength, the energy, and the motivation is always there.

Paul writes something that I think every minister needs to keep going back to. In Romans he argues out his passion and mission statement and I think the reason he writes this powerful letter:

16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.” Romans 1.

In the Gospel we find God’s saving power and that’s what everyone including your minister needs every day. This is also the motivation he needs, to know that through his mundane work of preaching and teaching, God is working to save and sustain his people for eternity. He needs to preach to himself this Gospel everyday and we need to do the same for his sake and ours too. When is the last time you encouraged your minister by something you are reading from the Bible? He needs it and the encouragement is twofold, one for his soul and second for his ongoing ministry.

In addition, the Gospel is founded on God’s love for his people, see the popular John 3:16. The son of God invites us to love instead of judgement and the minister’s work extends that love to others. But the minister needs to know and cherish that Gospel love. To swim and bathe daily in the amazing love of God that brought an enemy to his dinner table. To remember that one died that many may live and he needs to die daily following his master’s footsteps. That’s the job, that’s the calling.

And when hardship comes whether from the congregation, his own life, his sin or from the world, that’s not a barrier it’s the price. But as those who share and benefit from this love we need to extend it to him as well. We need to bear a part of this burden ourselves. We can’t be all receiving and never giving. We need to think seriously about the welfare of our ministers both spiritually and physically.

But none of these works unless God works. The greatest motivation comes from God himself. It’s God working through his Spirit by his Word that keeps his man on the job. So above everything else we need to pray and pray some more for ministers of the Gospel. Pray that the same word they preach bears fruit in their hearts. Pray for protection from sin and scandal. Pray for his contentment and joy in the Gospel. Pray for his family that they’ll be full partners in this work. Pray for his children to believe and be proud of their dad’s work. When Calling fails, the Gospel and our prayers will keep the man of God in office.