Don’t miss what I say at the end of this post.
On a well-spent day with my staff and our “beloved” interns, we enjoyed sitting under two great teachers: Dr. Joseph Stowell and Dr. Crawford Loritts.
I had never met Joe before but Crawford and I shared conference ministry at Sandy Cove in Northeast, Maryland and struck up an immediate friendship that has lasted for years.
In 2005, Crawford graciously came to our Church and spoke for our twentieth anniversary. While golfing together during that time, Crawford shared with me his intention to pursue a ministry change. After serving for 27 years with Campus Crusade, Crawford decided to consider becoming a pastor.
After a year in pastoral ministry, I called him up and asked what he thought about the work. “Oh, that’s easy,” he said, “in the Church nothing is ever done.”
In his itinerate and radio ministry, he was able to wrap things up from assignment to assignment. Not so in the pastorate. As he reflected, “When you preach a series of messages things just get started! And the same people keep showing up!”
I have a great deal of respect for Crawford. I came to the conference expecting God to work through these two faithful servants. They are both seasoned and wise leaders who know where to draw the lines and perhaps as importantly—where not to draw them. With all the trendy ideas and methods for ministry flying around, it’s always refreshing to hear truths drawn from God’s Word by wise teachers.
The host organization for the conference was Radio Bible Class. This is a ministry with a long record for faithful service to the body of Christ. They produce the Daily Bread devotional read by believers all over the globe. Double kudos to them for facilitating a ministry to Church leaders!! May God honor and bless them for this service.
Here is a statement from Crawford worth the price of the conference (which was only $ 25.00 with lunch included).
“We need to stop wasting God’s time rehearsing our pain and start leveraging the opportunities before us.”
He was speaking from Philippians and Paul’s use of his circumstances for the cause of the gospel.
I thought of how easily we enjoy our pity parties and get stuck in discouragement. Crawford challenged us to live fully in the present by embracing God’s hand and purpose in it — no matter how difficult.
Do you tend to focus on past regrets and future fears in a way that paralyzes your present joy and effectiveness? When we do this, we are not as available to God as we should be.
Gaining freedom and focus:
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.(Philippians 4:6-7).