By Jim Beerley | Vice President
When we left Monaco to return to North America, I knew I needed to send an update. But although we left in August I could not bring myself to write that letter until December. I didn’t forget to write it, I stubbornly resisted. Putting it in words would make it seem so … final. After 17 years of investing in people, it’s hard to walk away.
One of the “costs” we pay in ministry is saying good-bye to our children, both natural and spiritual. In the case of spiritual children, the sorrow of parting can be exacerbated by the anxiety of an unknown future. Can they survive?
While some of that anxiety is natural, some can also be sinful. In my case I really wondered, Can they survive without me? That’s why it was humbling to receive this note from a council member, written after their Christmas program: “It was truly a great night. A well-attended service followed by goodies downstairs. The Holy Spirit was working overtime and it was an honor to serve. You guys did an awesome job over the years preparing folks to serve.”
One of the lessons we have learned from our experience is this: When we leave, God stays.
We have done our job in making disciples when we become dispensable — when our disciples start following Jesus, not us. That joyful realization is what Paul talks about in 2 Corinthians 3:2-3: “You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everyone. You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts” (New International Version).
It doesn’t get any better than that!