Good Enough?

July 5th, 2020

Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Jemmie Reynolds and it is my honor to be appointed the

new pastor of Mayflower United Methodist Church. I would like to give a shout out to Rick and Francy Wilkins. I want to wish you every blessing on the road ahead. I know that you will be missed here. You are well loved here. And I appreciate the grace that you have shown to me in this transition. God bless you.

This is July 5th. I am a day late, but I would be remiss if I did not say how blessed I feel to live in a

country where we enjoy the freedoms that we have. There is a lot of division right now. There has

always been division. Sometimes more than other times. But for all of that, we are still blessed to enjoy this freedom that we have. This freedom is not free. So we give thanks for the men and women that have put their lives on the line to protect our freedom.

Today’s message addresses a question. Is it possible for us to be “Good enough?” And it’s important to understand that I am not talking to the world now. The world needs Jesus Christ. And if you are

listening this morning and God is not in your life, well I’ve been there. I was there for a long time. I’m

here to tell you that you haven’t started living, you don’t know what life is until you find Christ and

Christ finds you. So, what does it mean to be good enough? Well, let’s begin by reading our scripture

reference this morning.

“A disciple is not above the teacher, nor a slave above the master; it is enough for the disciple to be

like the teacher, and the slave like the master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub,

how much more will they malign those of his household!” (Matthew 10:24-25).”

Jesus said these words to His disciples as he was sending them out to minister to the people across the

country. He empowered them to do His work and sent them out. Does that sound familiar? So he gave

them a warning. He said that they should not be surprised that in some cities they would not be

received well. They would be ridiculed and rejected, thrown out of town. And he told them that they

would suffer just like Him. They would be like Him. And that is enough. I really do regret that I can’t speak to you face to face. I have visited with some of you but only for a few moments. I have seen the leadership team interact and make some very difficult decisions. What I see here is a strong people. I heard the experience and wisdom in your voices. As much as I would like to say I walk in the door confident in myself to lead you, I do not. Just the opposite. If I were leading you alone, I would be wholly inadequate. I would have to ask myself, what can a person like me possibly bring to the table of such a people as this? And if you think this is not a great testimony for a leader, then brace yourself for what comes next. I have little experience. I have pastored two churches in my lifetime. And I have a marginal background even as a Christian. I grew up in a non-religious home. My parents were loving people and great providers. But we had a home that was devoid of religious content. We knew nothing of the Church or of God, of worship, or of prayer. So compared to some here, the traditions of the Church are relatively new to me.

And my character, it is lacking. I know pastors who seem drenched with the Spirit of God. They are the kinds of people you just love to be near. Do you know people like that? You can sense God’s love and joy just seeping from their pores. It’s in their smile and in their laugh. I aspire to let Jesus make me like that. But, I’m pretty sure that’s not me. You will see me worried at times. You might think I lack faith. I will seem afraid. At times I will not speak when everyone knows that I should have. And I will say the wrong thing when I should have remained silent. I will most certainly fail some of you. Since my call to ministry, I have questioned the Lord over and over again about calling me and sending me anywhere.

Why would God use a person like me, with my background?

So, what do I bring? How can I be your pastor? I do bring some things. First, I have stopped questioning the Lord’s call on my life. God called me to stand up and speak, so this I will do. God help me. And coming from a family that was so far from the light, I am convinced that everyone in this world needs Jesus, and everyone is our responsibility. I bring a burning conviction to reach those that live in the place that I once lived. And I hope to share this conviction with some of you. I don’t have all the answers. I don’t have a plan, much less a surefire plan. But I bring to you the belief that there is nothing that God cannot do with His people when they sell out for Him. I believe that the way to reach the world is one soul at a time and those souls are on the fringes of society. They are the addicts, the jail birds, the poor, the despicable. I believe that if a Church becomes Christ’s they will be taken advantage of sometimes. I believe we will invest in helping people and then be rejected, our hands will be bitten by the ones who we feed, just like Jesus. That’s why Jesus said, don’t be surprised when you suffer just like me.

“A disciple is not above the teacher, nor a slave above the master; it is enough for the disciple to be

like the teacher, and the slave like the master (Matthew 10:24-25).” So, I believe that serving Him as a

Church means self-sacrifice. We are not a business. Let that sink in. I’ll say it again. We are not a

business. We are not here to do well for ourselves. If we focus on acting like a business, I have no

doubt that we would do well. But we are not here to grow the building, it might happen, but that’s not

our focus. We aren’t here to grow the size of the congregation. It could happen. But if we focus on

growing the congregation, we will miss the point. Jesus focused on one person at a time in His ministry.

So, our focus ought to be to reach people one at a time who need Jesus Christ in their lives. We are

called to love them, even when they don’t deserve it. And we are not here to judge the world. The

Church is not called to shake their fist at the world. We are called to bring them to Christ. Scripture

says that judgement begins in the house of God. But there will be times we have to speak the truth in

love. And the days are ahead and are here when we have to stand together as a congregation. We

have to stand on the Bible, the Word of God, and speak the truth in love even if we are hated for it.

That’s what Jesus did and that’s what He sent His disciples out to do. So Jesus said those words about

being like him, and warned them, “If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much

more will they malign those of his household!”

So, I say this Church. If we are loved by everyone, then we have stood for nothing. But we will not be

hated by everyone. We will reach a few. Because if we love each other and we love God, we will be

recognized by some as followers of Jesus. And we will win them for Christ. So, this Church is not about me, and it’s not about you. Our job is not to affirm who we are. You are okay and I am okay. God loves us too much to leave us where we are. We aren’t called to lift up who we are. We are called to life up Jesus Christ. And that message will rub some people wrong, even some who are of the house of faith.

But we have to hold to Christ and go all out for Him or we are wasting our time here. So, what is it I

bring to you as a new pastor? Nothing of myself, because God doesn’t need my strength. The Lord

doesn’t need my opinion. The Lord doesn’t need your strength and opinion. What He needs is for us to lean on His strength and His truth. It’s all about Him. And when we make it all about Him, He will make us like Him. And that is enough. Amen?

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