He stood on stage last night. A forty-four year old man testifying how a judge gave him mercy when he should have been locked up for 25 years due to the “Three Strikes And You’re Out” law in California. This judge gave him the option of the Dream Center instead of practically living the rest of his life in prison.
I was moved to tears to hear that he had been in prison for most of his life. The only thing he’s ever known was prison life. The man had a golden opportunity because of a judge who gave him one last hope – The Dream Center.
While he testified, I went into a bit of trance. I reflected on seventeen years of lives who have been saved over and over just like this. I began to understand that God had called me to this city and to never give up on this city.
It’s sad when pastors leave a church that’s going somewhere and the news becomes the press release about the pastor’s decision. The reality is, “It’s never about the pastor,” it’s about the people. It’s about the man who has one last shot; it’s about the person down the street.
CELEBRITY HAS NO PLACE IN MINISTRY…………….DID YOU HEAR ME? NONE!
I’m afraid that our faith-based world has built platforms over people. I cannot leave my church because there is no better place to go than the block down the street to minister to the next alcoholic who needs a hand. Ministry cannot be about opportunities or better offers, it’s about people. It cannot be about books sales, conference invitations, or who you know.
America needs pastors who stay in their communities. Recession requires us to be the last great stabilizing force of our communities. If I had left one year ago, I would have missed my divine appointment with this man who has one last shot at life.
We must understand that any influence we get is not a stepping stone to something better but it’s simply something in our hand that must be given back to the most forgotten of our city. Fathers are leaving their children; poverty is causing families to spend less time together. During this climate in America, we need pastors who will fight tooth or nail, not for GOLDEN MINISTRY OPPORTUNITIES, but for THE ONE. Always the one.