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Is Anyone Out There? Does Anyone Care?

Do you ever wonder who really cares about you? What you’re doing? The sacrifices you’re making in your congregation so people can grow…be discipled…come to faith?

And especially…if you’re the spouse? (I don’t mean that in an impersonal way.) I’m guessing what you do is at risk of being underappreciated. Maybe unthanked. Especially the sacrifices you make. The extra burdens you carry.

So, before I say more: Thank you!

This PLI community takes risks for the sake of the Gospel. Tirelessly serves and leads. Longs to see a brighter future and more people in heaven one day. Celebrates that Jesus climbed down from the Transfiguration mountain and set His face toward Jerusalem.

Here’s reality. The Flourishing in Ministry study at Notre Dame maintains that we all do better when we know that someone “in the system” cares about us. Values what we do. Knows the efforts that we make.

Let me share two simple illustrations from my own life.

Our district mission executive many years ago, Lyle Muller, knew that Gail and I as a young couple were up to our eyeballs slowly watching God turn around a 125-year-old congregation that had been declining for a couple of decades.

Lyle had a characteristic smile that always signaled that he cared. Usually he understood. He’d ask how we were. Listen. Affirm. Thank us.

Simple.

Lyle would occasionally take me along to scout out future sites for new congregations. Ask my opinion. (What did I know about future church sites as a 28-year-old rookie pastor?) He graciously mentored me. Told me that what Gail and I were doing was important. Asked: “How’s that new baby?”

Fast forward some years! PLI’s 20 year history was just beginning. Gail and I are sitting together at a table toward the back of a banquet hall at PLI! One of the speakers, Dr. Gerald Kieschnick said to the crowd:

“Thank you for the sacrifices and the risks that you’re taking so that people might know Jesus.”

And I instantly had tears in my eyes! Someone “in the system” said that what we were doing was important!

He thanked us!…in the crowd.

So, thank you!

You know, like we know…

Standing tall and leading can be difficult.

Stretching yourself to grow in ways that you’d rather not can be difficult.

Being the champion for the people that don’t know Jesus yet rather than the comfort of the ones already in the church can be difficult.

So, thank you.

Gail and I so very much appreciate your willingness to lead and serve and embody integrity and lead uniquely with the strengths and passions that God has given you.

Finally…

  1. Who knows what you do? Reminds you that it’s important? Says “Thanks”?
  2. Would you send a quick note, make a phone call, forward this blog, to someone God brings to your mind? Tell them that you know what they’re doing and you care.

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