Ministry

Four Lessons From Four Years (Part 2)

Last time, I began sharing some of the main lessons I have learned through the first four years of my service as a church ministries representative for The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry.

In Part One, I wrote about the need to multiply our ministry’s effectiveness, and also regarding the importance of relationships in ministry. I would like to share two more lessons in this concluding installment.

The first relates to the necessity we have to make a greater and more intentional and effective use of media.

During the COVID-19 shutdowns, and ever since, we have all become accustomed to doing more of everything online—including shopping, attending meetings and even participating in church activities.

Last time, the lockdown gave us the opportunity to go online—beginning from scratch. Many other ministries were in the very same boat, and it was highly understandable. The next time—and I do believe there will be a next time, and that it is a matter of when, not if—we face a national or global crisis of a similar nature (be it real or manufactured), we need to be ready for it. The time for practice runs is officially over!

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Four Lessons From Four Years (Part 1)

I can’t believe it’s already your fifth year!

A statement like that was recently made by a friend—with a sense of amazement—regarding the fact that I have now begun my fifth year as a church ministries representative for The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry.

Yes, four years ago at this time I was nervously pondering how to announce to church congregations (many of which already knew me) that I now represented FOI and—the most dreaded issue of all—was in the position of attempting to raise financial support.

In retrospect, it was an interesting and strategically important time to begin. Though none of us knew it then, the world was about to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic in just over a year, and many aspects of everyday life would change significantly.

In hindsight, the shutdowns of 2020 gave us the opportunity to pause after a year and a quarter and focus on implementing many things we should have been doing all along—especially in the area of technology. Most significantly, that led to my presence at SermonAudio.com/pscharf and the origin of this column. We built on these efforts in year three with the launch of a weekly email—aided by an expert and faithful volunteer. Looking back, I cannot imagine attempting to go about our ministry the way we were doing it in 2019.

And that leads me to the first of several lessons that have been reinforced in my mind during these four years. I share them in the hope that others may find them useful.

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