I am typing this while sitting in the North American Mission Board building along with ten other leaders from Ohio who are learning about church revitalization through the Replant Lab. I am grateful for these men and other leaders who are investing in the hard work of revitalization in our state.
I have implored our executive committee to a two-fold focus this year: 1) Create a process to help revitalize churches, and 2) develop more church planters so we can see more vibrant gospel ministry throughout our state.
Whether you are involved in revitalization, planting, or somewhere in between, here’s what I know: it is hard work. I was convicted and challenged by something I heard yesterday in our training that I want to pass on to you. Genesis 26:18 says, “And Isaac dug again the wells of water that had been dug in the days of Abraham his father, which the Philistines had stopped after the death of Abraham. And he gave them the names that his father had given them.”
'Philistines' can creep up in our ministries at any point. They can stop up effective gospel work and even run some ministries dry. Do you have any Philistines lingering around your ministry? Sometimes they come from unexpected places, sometimes even from ourselves as leaders if we rely on self more than God.
But here’s the hope amid the Philistines: the well can fill back up, and the water can flow again. It takes strong leaders, though, to dig up and press through the muck of opposition and staleness. We are stewards of the most significant message—we get to tell people about Jesus who will offer living water! Persevere! Do all it takes to open the well and offer living water throughout Ohio.
Ryan Strother - SCBO President