Saturday, April 23, 2016
Broken Hearted Marine. A young man, a Marine who had finished his time in the military shared his story of a terrific career. Then the painful countenance appeared, one witnessed so many times on Run For The Wall, around a table in the bar, a conference room, a living room, in churches and the list goes on. It has become so painfully clear there is nothing more painful than to train, sacrifice, hurt and push yourself to stand with your brothers in combat and not be given the opportunity.
It has been stated there is no greater sin in leadership than to prepare and motivate people and not give them the opportunity to exercise that energy, that passion, that desire that is deep within a person. Unfortunately, this sin happens week in and week out inside the American church. There are words of encouragement and challenge and then nothing happens for that Spirit to flow out of the individual.
As I traveled early this cool, damp Saturday morning to speak to a group of men the words of this young Marine could not be escaped. How many men would we challenge and how many would respond? Is it really worth the effort with so many voices screaming for their attention? Can they truly hear or does the Words of Jesus, "... For they look, but they don't really see. They hear, but they don't really listen or understand" (Matthew 13:13, NLT), apply to them? Can we be different? Can I be different?
Upon reflection, the memories of being trained at Youth Camp in June 1968 to take Jesus to the streets, then being taken there and the adults stood by watching to make sure we remembered to do things correctly. The feeling that this was the thing that needed to be done would not depart. Upon returning to the local church, I made phone calls to some of the guys from the same camp. We did the only thing we knew, dressed up like we were going to church because we were told we needed to "represent Jesus" (when all we were doing was representing the church folks). There was the crawling through the window in the back of the church, having prayer and then heading out to neighborhoods to knock on doors and share our faith.
Well, we did not change Norman, Oklahoma, we did not fill any churches but there was this feeling that we were on the battlefield. The one thing about Christianity that is truly awesome, it is a personal thing. We must remember, we will answer for ourselves when we stand before the Almighty God. There will be no figure pointing at "leaders" that should have, could have but did not.
Then there was the thought of the first leadership role, Lifeliners In Action or LIA. Eighteen teenagers joined in front of Pastor Damon and Marilyn Burrows home, frustrated because we would get all fired up during summer camp, sit in services and classes and lose all the passion we had gained. We decided we would join together once a month, minister to each other and keep the challenges before us. We did not wait to be led, we began leading. It was not long before we were filling the largest churches in the conference with as many as 400 teenagers.
That same spirit lives today, only with greater passion (intense feelings driven by deep convictions). We travel thousands of miles, challenging people to do something beyond the four walls of the church to serve people, be a fragrance of His spirit (2 Corinthians 2:14). We attempt to live a life and give others a platform that would make people "ask" us about the hope that is within us (1 Peter 3:15). Let us list Mission:M25's endeavors to activate men and women on the National Level:
- Free Camps across the USA, Philippines and Mexico
- Run For The Wall, May 18-28, 2016
- 50 CC Diaper Run, July 10-21, 2016
- Native American Outreach, August 16-22, 2016
Posted by Gary Burd at 9:04 PM