And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. – Jesus

Dear Student Pastor,

Today as you step into your office, you may have have come off an incredibly discouraging weekend. The student that you thought was pursuing Christ confessed to you that he/she has been living a lie. That parent that you thought loved you deeply and is 100% behind your ministry has turned their back on you and is spreading nasty rumors. Your baptism numbers are down. Your Sunday School roll has been slowly decreasing over the past few weeks. You have tried to relaunch, and then relaunch again your Wednesday night services with no “success.” The choir sounded horrific this past weekend, and you’re not sure if keeping them as part of the key elements of the worship service is ever going to help your church reach younger people. And then on top of that, you just saw the menu for the fellowship supper posted in the church bulletin. (Really, spaghetti again…do we have to keep doing this supper that only 22 people attend? You’ve got to be kidding me!!!) 

Be encouraged today, dear friend. Jesus is building his church. Not you, not me. Jesus. And he’s using people from every walk of life, every tribe, every tongue, every nation, every neighborhood, every music preference, every broken home, every messed up soul….HE IS BUILDING HIS CHURCH. The Kingdom of God cannot be held at bay by the schemes of the devil. Our enemy is crafty and he wants you to begin doubting the forward progress of the mission of God. Don’t doubt it….rest in the great truth that the gates of hell will not prevail. Jesus wins. We play for his team. The scoreboard is in our favor at the end of the day. Yes, the journey is tough. Jesus never promised us it wouldn’t be. We live in a fallen world as a fallen people. Things get messy. You can’t read the New Testament and come up with an idea that walking as a sojourner in this world is easy. It’s simply not so.

Press on. Persevere. Wear out your knees in prayer before the throne of God. Whatever you do, just don’t give up. God wants to show you something about himself this week. He wants you to get a greater glimpse of his glory.

In the trenches with you,

Jason

 

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