Football is back!
When I was a youth minister I worked out with a local high school football team as part of their “optional” summer conditioning program. During one of the workouts the coach took us to the practice field and announced that we were going to run 50 forty-yard sprints. They wouldn’t dare say it but I knew what those young athletes were thinking, “You want us to do what?.”
I’m sure you’ve probably asked that question many times during these COVID-19 days.
You want me to wash my hands how many times?
You want me to stand how far apart from people?
You want me to wear what over my face in the middle of summer?
You want me to do what?
We’ve all been asked to do something big or challenging to which our first response might have been along the same lines – you want me to do what? Translated – are you crazy? Do you know what you’re asking?
I can’t help but think this was going through the mind of Jesus’ disciples at the end of the long day of ministry. Realizing it was late in the day, the disciples wanted Jesus to send the crowd away. The reason they gave was so the people could get something to eat before dark. The truth was they were tired and hungry. They had just returned from their mission trip, if you will, and Mark tells us the “apostles gathered around Jesus and reported all that they had done and taught.” Jesus invited them to a remote place for some rest, but the crowds wouldn’t let Jesus out of their sight. In fact, so many people were coming that Mark noted the apostles “did not even have time to eat.”
As was Jesus’ nature, He had compassion on the crowd and spent the day teaching those who came. Fast-forward to the end of a long, meal-less, day of ministry. The disciples encouraged Jesus to send the crowd away. What Jesus said next caught them by surprise, “You give them something to eat.” Mark 6:37.
Wait for it… You want us to do what?
The New Living Translation puts it this way, “With what?” they asked. “We’d have to work for months to earn enough money to buy food for all these people.”
The New Testament is sprinkled with “you want us to do what” assignments:
- Lazarus had been dead four days and Jesus said, “move the stone.”
- The daughter of the religious leader died as Jesus was on His way to his house. Jesus said, she’s not dead, only sleeping. Let’s keep going!
- He told Peter to go catch a fish so they could pay their temple tax.
- Before He ascended He told the disciples to go into all the world and make disciples.
The good news is whenever Jesus gives us one of those “you want us to do what” tasks, He knows how it’s going to play out. The next thing He asks is “what do you have?” When Jesus assigns us the task of reaching Louisiana, He’s not going to ask us for more than we have, but He will ask us for what we have.
When Louisiana Baptists launched Here for You, a strategy to seed God’s truth inside every heart and every home in the state, we asked the same bumfuzzled, glorious question: You want us to do what? You want us to create 30 second, cinema quality messages on secular media outlets to share the Gospel? We did and God is honoring our obedience.How has God used what you’ve been able to give?
- In the second quarter of 2020, you’ve seeded God’s truth in the hearts of 90% of young mothers 12 or more times during the weeks we were on the air via broadcast and cable TV.
- In the process of doing this, you’ve touched roughly 95% of TV households across Louisiana
- Since January 1, 2020, our partnership with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association has produced 4,323 gospel presentation views and 897 indicated decisions for Christ.
- Social media has literally produced hundreds of thousands of impressions and tens of thousands of delivered clicks.
God is using what we have and distributing His truth to the multitudes of our fellow citizens who do not have a relationship with Jesus. He sees them and feels compassion towards them – and so must we.
The task before us is great and Christ’s directive is clear – you give them something. Instead of responding with “you want us to do what,” let’s show the same compassion Jesus showed the crowd and give what we have. Let’s work together, do whatever He tells us to do, and see what happens next. It may just be miraculous!
Visit LouisianaBaptists.org/hereforyou and enter the password, luke1423 to see how your church can connect with Here for You.