Large Church Roundtable…
This past week I attended an annual meeting that has become one of the most significant I attend. It’s the Large Church Roundtable and as you can guess, it is made up of Pastors from many of the large churches in our SBC. A couple of years ago, I had the honor of serving as the president of the organization, but I can tell you it’s far more enjoyable to simply sit, listen and learn as a member without the responsibility of organizing the location, the agenda and the details of the event. Each year we meet in a different location for several days. I said it is one of the most significant meetings I attend because about 35 of us literally sit around a large table and discuss matters, issues and ideas that are common to churches our size. Everyone checks their ego at the door and the meetings are not about outshining others, but rather, helping each other do what we do for God and the church more effectively.
The meetings are always refreshing and always a reminder that we are never finished with the work of God entrusted to us here at RBC. And with perseverance for God, we can go beyond what we ever imagined possible. In his book, Pastoral Grit: the Strength to Stand and to Stay, Craig Brian Larson writes:
"In 1972, NASA launched the exploratory space probe Pioneer 10. According to Leon Jaroff in Time, the satellite's primary mission was to reach Jupiter, photograph the planet and its moons, and beam data to earth about Jupiter's magnetic field, radiation belts, and atmosphere. Scientists regarded this as a bold plan, for at that time no earth satellite had ever gone beyond Mars, and they feared the asteroid belt would destroy the satellite before it could reach its target.
But Pioneer 10 accomplished its mission and much, much more. Swinging past the giant planet in November 1973, Jupiter's immense gravity hurled Pioneer 10 at a higher rate of speed toward the edge of the solar system. At one billion miles from the sun, Pioneer 10 passed Saturn. At some two billion miles, it hurtled past Uranus; Neptune at nearly three billion miles; Pluto at almost four billion miles. By 1997, twenty-five years after its launch, Pioneer 10 was more than six billion miles from the sun.
And despite that immense distance, Pioneer 10 continued to beam back radio signals to scientists on Earth. 'Perhaps most remarkable,' writes Jaroff, 'those signals emanate from an 8-watt transmitter, which radiates about as much power as a bedroom night light and takes more than nine hours to reach Earth.'
The Little Satellite That Could was not qualified to do what it did. Engineers designed Pioneer 10 with a useful life of just three years. But it kept going and going. By simple longevity, its tiny 8-watt transmitter radio accomplished more than anyone thought possible.”
And so, it is with us, empowered by His Spirit and surrendered to His mission, we can go further and accomplish more than we ever thought and imagined possible. Or as Paul put it… “Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” (Ephesians 3:20–21)
And remember, God is always trying to take you someplace new. I love being your Pastor! Make God First in everything this year!