I’ve heard a few people suggest that we should remove March from our calendars since the last two have not been very fun here in eastern Nebraska and western Iowa—2019 floods and 2020 COVID19. And after being involved in a series of tough decisions to cancel a host of events, I have concluded that American’s are being asked to either cancel or postpone 2020. My oldest grandchild will hopefully graduate from high school this year; however, the May 23rd graduation ceremony that is on my calendar will not happen as scheduled. I heard on the radio that 2020 UNL graduates will be invited to “walk” with the 2021 graduates next year. We were going to do an “all-family” vacation in Florida the week before the SBC Convention, but both of those events have been canceled.
As I have reflected on the host of cancellations, I found it interesting that the first events to be canceled were major sporting events: March Madness and the 2020 College World Series. I’m wondering what God might be trying to tell us? We have become a nation where we have pursued sports, personal pleasure, and the accumulation of possessions at an ever-increasing almost frantic pace. If we were honest with ourselves we would admit that these things have become our gods. MAYBE God is trying to redirect our focus and energy. Maybe God telling a nation that believes we can continue to living at an ever-increasing frantic pace that it is time to slow down; to be still and to know that He is God.
As we are forced to change our daily life patterns, let me suggest that we don’t swap one hectic and harried lifestyle for another one where we just hop from one on-line meeting to the next. My prayer is that we will be able to reprioritize our time, energy, and resources to put more emphasis upon God, upon our marriages, upon our relationships with family and friends, and upon identifying and engaging in what God has uniquely called and equipped us to do.
Mark Elliott, DoM
Retiring in April 2022, Mark R. Elliott served as a Director of Missions (Associational Mission Strategist) in Western Iowa and Eastern Nebraska for almost three decades. He is a strong advocate for obedience and Biblically based disciple making. As such, he knows that making healthy disciples requires Christian leaders to be constantly pursuing spiritual maturity—be lifelong learners. Because of the time constraints of ministry, most pastors focus their reading list on resources that assist them in teaching and preaching the Word of God. As such, books focusing on church health, leadership development, and church growth tend to find their way to the bottom of the stack. With that reality in mind, Mark has written discussion summaries on several books that have helped him to personally grow in Christ and that tend to find themselves on the bottom of most pastor’s stack. Many pastors have found them helpful as they are able to more quickly process great insights from other pastors and authors.
Monday - Friday
9 - 4:45