I can do all this through him who gives me strength.Philippians 4:13
The whole-day safety driving training that Jewel and I attended on 23 May, courtesy of the company we are working with, is called “Drive to Survive.”
We were asked to drive at different speeds (50, 55, 60, 65, and 70 Kph) on the training’s practical side. Upon reaching a point where the trainer stood, he blew a whistle that signalled us to step on the break and navigate the car to avoid hitting a row of barriers (yellow plastic buckets).
Many of us might have experienced this when somebody suddenly crosses the road, and you must break suddenly. The one-day “Drive to Survive” training built up our confidence in what cars (with ABS technology) can do to avoid hitting a barrier, which could mean saving lives, property, and pockets.
Philippians 4:13 reminds us that we can do everything through Christ, who strengthens us.
The first Sunday of June marks my start of pastoral ministry with my family at Oamaru Baptist Church (OBC), and it feels like we have been here for many years.
Perhaps, the many beautiful things that have happened in the last 12 months at OBC and Oamaru, in general, make us all wonder how it all happened in one year.
I recalled 27 June 2022 as the Sunday we had a guest speaker, and only six people turned up. Two were visitors. Even if most members got sick that Sunday, we averaged 10 to 15 people in our worship service.
After almost a year, attendance at Oamaru Baptist Church has grown. We have all 60 seats taken on the last two Sundays of May.
Again, Philippians 4:13 reminds us that we can do all things through Christ, who strengthens us.
The reality is Sunday attendance is not all things in the church’s life. There is a need to herd the believers into discipleship groups and nurture faith and application.
Returning to our “Drive to Survive” illustration, we were only on Level 1 of the training. The next level is “Drive Forever“, which would probably subject the trainees to drive at higher speeds (80 to 100 Kph), the standard rate on State Highways.
I guess no one buys a car and drives them to a minimum speed because one is afraid to venture into the highway.
Going slow, perhaps at 70 Kph maximum, is safe, but the places you can go would be limited, perhaps within city boundaries.
You might try driving to the next town or city, but with your slow speed, you would become an obstruction and annoyance to the faster traffic.
Worst, a police patrol would pull you over and issue a ticket (NZ context). The police might encourage you to drive up to State Highway’s speed of 100 Kph or else stay put.
Reflecting on our Christian faith, while keeping the Sunday attendance up is good, living the Christian life is not all about attending church.
We need to notch up our Christian faith and service from a Sunday attendee to a “Serve Forever and do all things for Christ level.”
We are not in church to be a benchwarmer. We are supposed to be benchmarkers. Remember the parable of the talents?
The challenge for all of us is this – Like our cars that we can’t discover what they can do until we test them, we need to launch our ministry ventures further to learn and experience the vastness of “doing all things” through Christ who strengthens us.
Let us strive to serve forever and glorify! Amen.