Love Is The Key
And of some have compassion, making a difference.
I love new ideas! I love to harvest ideas from people, books, other churches, conferences, and any other source I can find. As the church bus director at North Valley for the past six years, I enjoy going to our weekly Saturday bus meeting to give and receive different ideas that are helpful in the bus ministry. However, I think too often in our ministries, we have a tendency to look for the next best idea, method, or technique in order to see positive effects from our labor for God. Ideas, methods, and techniques are wonderfully helpful, but they should never be a substitute for a surrendered heart of compassion for those to whom we are ministering.
As a teen bus worker, I can recall being extremely motivated by a guest speaker at our church’s bus ministry clinic. I immediately began to try to mimic his every mannerism, inflection, and hand gesture as I went visiting on my bus route. God used my bus captain – whose personality was the polar opposite of our guest speaker – to teach me a valuable lesson. My bus captain was stoic, monotone, and fairly unexpressive. However, we saw amazing results on our bus route. Visitors came every week, scores of souls were saved and baptized throughout the year, and I can recall a Big Day of more than 300 riders on that bus route one year. I recall asking my bus captain, “How have you made such a difference in the lives of these people and in these neighborhoods.” His response was, “Very often, I will drive down these streets weeping and begging God to do a work through me and through our bus route.” That day, I learned that the newest promotion idea, visitation technique, or pre-planned speech was not the answer. I learned that love is the key to making a difference in someone’s life. God made an eternal difference in our lives because of His love. The only way we will make a lasting impact in anyone’s life is to truly love that person in the Lord.
When speaking of the bus ministry, it has been said, “Children will come to church because it is fun. They will keep coming because they are loved.” Do your bus riders know that you truly love them and care for their souls? That is the only way we will ever make a significant difference!
As a college-aged man, I recall the first time I met Evangelist John Bishop. He had suffered his devastating bout of spinal meningitis a few years prior to our meeting. This health tragedy had robbed him of his memory and of every other ability – like walking, talking, and reading. He had to learn how to do all of these things again. When I met him, he was far enough along in his recovery to begin preaching out a little bit. I had the privilege to drive him to a church where he was to speak. As I was talking with him, he made a statement that has stayed with me for nearly a decade. He was telling me how he could not drive like he used to, he could not preach like he used to, he could not read or even speak like he used to. Then, he said, “But, Brother Ryan, as long as I can love, I can help people.”
We may not have the most dynamic personality; we may not be a great orator; and we may not know every technique or method that another person knows. But, if we can love, we can help people. Let me encourage you to go out this week and serve your people from a heart of godly love.