I was talking with an east coast friend from my old workplace last week, we had been co-leads on the largest project I had in my professional career, he led the east coast team and I on the west. We were both Christians and often spoke of that on the phone or when we were on the same coast at dinner or after a meeting. Fred asked me how I would describe my work both in the Bureau and in my Christian life.
Well… after a long and hard look at myself, I answered him with one word… “Unqualified.”
I offered this with no elaboration, no explanation, and no qualifiers. My whole life both my professional and my volunteer work at the different churches I have attended. I summed up with a single word. Unqualified
I have to admit that once I said that word … that word started the wheels spinning in my head. It was strange because part of me wanted to come to my defense, but the other part was thinking, Friend, you don’t know the half of it.
Yep, I struggle— with my focus, my grammar and spelling, with my motives, with my eating habits, with my inability to remember everybody’s names, with my prayer life, with my state of mind. And that list doesn’t even scratch the surface.
I know my weaknesses and faults pretty well. Hardly a day went by that I was not seized by the sensation that I have no business doing what I’m doing. That I was in over my head. That I don’t deserve any of the blessings or opportunities I have experienced
I suspect that we all may secretly fight feelings of whether we really measure up. We fear we are not “enough” …whatever that means in our particular situations.
I have good news. If you look at the great men and women of Scripture, you find one common denominator…many felt that they were unqualified.
God doesn’t call the qualified; he qualifies the called. We don’t need to be qualified for something God is calling us to do. We just need to be willing. He will give you the tools you need, the words to speak, and the confidence. The requirement is having the faith that God will equip you and trust that it’s His plan for you.
I write all this for a couple of simple requests,
As you know we have started our search for an associate Pastor. The transition team has been out there requesting your thoughts and ideas on what Messiah needs in an Associate Pastor. Questions on what excites you about Messiah, what we do well, what is your vision for children and youth Faith Formation ministry, what is important to you, what changes would you like to see. And so many more. I encourage you all to join one of the zoom calls, and return your surveys. There are two more zoom calls , this Wednesday and This Thursday at 7 pm, check the church website for the call in information. We want to hear your voice, and yes you are qualified.
Volunteer, yep you. I know that right now with Covid and the lockdown opportunities are limited, we are looking for ways to open the doors, how that looks right now and for what is still undecided. We will at one point swing open our doors, and what a blessing that will be. We will need volunteers as we did in the past. So look for opportunities as we move to open our doors, and yes you are qualified.
Community outreach, as you are aware these programs are supported by our side aisle giving, there are three areas of community outreach we support. Community meals, the food banks, and emergency support to individuals within the community. To support these programs, you can volunteer your time or by donating funds to support our side aisle giving. Right now, this fund could use your help.
Community meals: We are sending out 65 to 75 bagged meals for the people who show up to the church. Then we send about 30 more out for Ray of Hope to provide meals, and they also do a Thursday night meal at Messiah. So even though times are challenging right now, with help from God and His people, we are meeting those challenges head on.
The food bank is still active, every Wednesday from 9 to 10 am. We are still providing food for those who come to our doors. None of the community services we have done at Messiah here has stopped. The needs in our community are still there and need our support.
I ask you to think about donating to the side aisle giving in support of our community service programs.
Charlie Radabaugh, Council President