July 10, 2018
Neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. 1Cor 3:7
Appreciate the privilege to play any part in what God is doing to transform people’s lives.
Our first baptisms at the new church we were planting happened BEFORE we actually launched the church! Talk about exciting … it was a huge joy to see this couple who lived across the street come to know Jesus, get involved in the church band, and give their lives to Christ weeks BEFORE the first preview service of the church. Thinking back to that whole story is amazing, but the night they were baptized in the hot tub, I wasn’t thinking about that … It’s humiliating to admit, but I was disappointed that another member of our team got to baptize them instead of me. (Yes – it was a terribly self-centered moment!)
Now just for a minute imagine with me the silliness of that thinking. I didn’t create them or knit them into being. I didn’t take care of their daily needs, or direct their lives. I didn’t bring them to California and position them two doors down the street from a new church planting team. I CERTAINLY didn’t die on the cross for them, and didn’t write a single word of the Scriptures that called them to salvation. Honestly, I did VERY LITTLE in their salvation, other than move in, open up our lives to them, and try to encourage their faith. God has done WAY MORE for them, and for EVERY OTHER PERSON to bring them to faith than I could ever do. If anyone should have baptized them, it should have been Jesus! It’s just CRAZY to imagine why Jesus would delegate ANY of the transformation process to us!!! What an honor and privilege to be a part of it in any way.
That self-centered moment was eye-opening to me, and changed me forever. I made a covenant with God the next day … Instead of looking to be the ‘baptizer’ of people, I would look for ways to help involve others to do the baptizing. Instead of trying to be the transformer of people, I would play whatever part the Great Transformer wanted to use me for. Never again would I be disappointed in who did the baptizing. Instead, I would look for every way possible to help others baptize people into Christ.
Over the years, God has used me in the transformation process in hundreds of ways. It’s still the greatest privilege to see a person give their lives to Christ and be baptized. But more and more, I gain so much more joy out of seeing members of our church baptizing their kids, their spouses, their friends. There’s nothing like it!Whatever part we do, it’s just an amazing blessing that God involves us in the transformation process. And just to be extra clear about it – EVERY PERSON in a church body has a part they play in each transformation. Every attender sitting in the service helps show trust in the Words of God. Every servant who helps with children, ushering, hosting, greeting, playing the music, serving the guests … each one is a transformer of people. Every family that gives generously to the Kingdom is funding the transformation of lives! There is no small part in transformation, and we should be honored to help with anything God gives us to do – because after all, one transformed life changes not only that person’s eternity, it changes hundreds & thousands of lives forever.