Kingdom work: You only go around once…
May 11, 2004
When you are 20-something years old and younger, you can do anything. The world and life is ahead of you and all you can see is a bowl full of cherries. Now, what I see are “the pits.” When I was 20-something, people in their 50s and 60s somehow seemed old. Now, they don’t. Time and its effects are things we can’t stop. But opportunities for world impact never stop. I’m only going around once in this life. I want to make it count.
I am seeing MANY people who have the same desire. The average age of seminary students (our future pastors and missionaries) at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City is 37. That tells me that most are second-career people. God has called them out of the business and work place to give their lives to missions and ministry. They want their life work to count for eternity. As I think about it, I too, am one of those people. I left the world of commercial real estate development as a vocation in order to serve the Lord Jesus. That was 26 years ago.
Remember, age really doesn’t have anything to do with significant accomplishments. It’s what you do, not when you do it.
Have you ever thought about Ted Williams, the Major League Baseball Hall-of-Famer, who at age 42, in his last official time at bat hit a home run? Or Mickey Mantle, who at age 20, hit 23 home runs his first full year in the Major Leagues? Golda Meir was 71 when she became Prime Minister of Israel. William Pitt II was 24 when he became Prime Minister of Great Britain. Mozart was seven when his first composition was published and Benjamin Franklin was a newspaper columnist at age 16 and a framer of our U.S. Constitution at age 81. Caleb, one of the great heroes of our faith, in Judges 14:10-12 was 85 years old when he conquered his family’s portion of Palestine .
You’re never too young or too old. Let’s recognize that age has little to do with ability. Don’t get culturally programmed with the ideas that youth cannot be used and that at age 65 you must retire. You may retire from a profession, but not from the work of the Kingdom of God .
I believe there are retired or financially independent people among our Missouri Baptist Convention ranks that need to come and use the wisdom and experience of life to help advance the cause of Jesus Christ in significant ways. I believe there are some who can make their lives count in even greater ways for eternity than they have ever been used in the years that have already gone by.
You may ask, “How can I be used?” I am so glad you asked that question. The Missouri Baptist Convention is now more than 169 years old. But sadly, the total amount of endowments that have been given to support the direct missions and evangelism work of this convention is only $2.1 million. This is a very small amount to have accumulated over a 169-year history. For perspective, Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar has raised more than $57 million dollars in its Partners in Excellence capital campaign in just over five years! Isn’t that a wonderful report?
So what is my point?
I believe there is a “retired” banker, lawyer, investment banker or estate planner among our ranks who could come, serve with our staff on a volunteer basis and help us raise an endowment to create a missions development office. Someone who has the ability to be a blessing to our Missouri Baptist people in estate planning, helping them preserve their estates for their heirs and at the same time build the Kingdom of God on the earth and heaven.
We have a big God who challenges us to big things. I believe there are big-hearted experts with a God-sized vision for how your life can impact our world for the kingdom in these last days. If that person is you, call me (800-736-6227 ext. 700).
In addition, we have multiple opportunities for Volunteers on Mission to serve across our state in all sorts of missions enterprises. We have new church starts that could use volunteer staff for worship, Sunday School, family ministry and more. Come invest a year of your life in a new church start.
There are many requests for people who can help with shorter term projects like carpentry, painting, youth camps and more. Danny Decker (800-736-6227 ext. 630) stands ready to help you find your place in these mission enterprises.
“Jesus loves you and WE have a wonderful plan for your life.” Remember, you only go around ONCE in this life. Make the most of the time you have. Come join the great adventure!