And as a local pastor, I have been blessed to receive those e-mails. I’m very thankful for the encouragement that they provide me. Mike’s website is: www.mikeglennonline.com. Check it out sometime - especially his blog and his books. I believe you’ll be glad you did.
Anyway, given my love for all things involving World War Two, his leadership thought for Monday, August 19, 2013, particularly spoke to my heart. I wanted to post it here in the hopes that it will encourage you as well. In it, he writes:
A few nights ago, I was reading a book about the Battle of Bulge. In the winter of 1944, Germany massed a surprise attack on Allied lines trying to push through the ammo and fuel dumps supplying the Allied forces. The Germans were finally beaten back, but it was close. Real close.
In fact, this author goes on to make the point that the battle was actually won by handfuls of American soldiers, who were cut off from their own units, found other straggling soldiers and made a stand at some unnamed village, some crossroad or hill that wasn’t even on the map.
Sometimes, the soldiers would hold up the German advance for twenty minutes, sometimes a couple of hours. More importantly, they gave the Allied commanders enough time to plan a counterattack that turned the tide and eventually, won the war in Europe.
The writer said, “The world will never know the names of the soldiers or even the places where the battles were fought. They will only know the war was one.”
When I read that, I thought about us – pastors of local churches.
That’s us. We’re fighting the battle in unknown places, doing our best to slow the advance of the enemy. Most people won’t even know of our victories or how brave we were in the fight. They’ll just read the stats, but they won’t know any of the stories.
They won’t know the one baptism you had this past year was an alcoholic grandfather who hadn’t been in church for thirty years, but you visited him in the hospital on the eve of his surgery. After that, he became a believer and you baptized him in front of a full house. No one in town could believe the old man was getting baptized.
The world will never know about the conversations with young adults about life choices, or with children about how valuable they are or how many marriages stayed together because you promised to pray with the couple anytime they needed.
Other people may ask why we do what we do. It all seems so pointless. But we go back to work, holding the lines one more day so one more soul can make it out. One day, the war will be over. Our King will have come. But until then, we’ll hold the lines for as long as we can.
That’s you, guys . . . pastors of local churches. And the world will never know the great war between good and evil was won because guys whose names will never be known made their stand in places whose names can’t be remembered.
Hold the lines, guys. You’re making a difference eternity will
Amen! And what is true for the pulpit is also true for the pew. Yes, preachers get discouraged; but they are not alone. So do lay people. It is easy to get down and then to wonder if we are really making a difference. Satan likes nothing more than for us to doubt our significance in the Kingdom.
So, the next time you are tempted to get discouraged, remember Mike’s observation. Your part may seem small – even miniscule. But when added to my part, and John Doe’s part, and Jane Does’ part, it all adds up.
Satan knows this. More importantly, God knows this. And He wants us to know it as well. I can almost hear Him saying, “Hold the line, my children. You really are making a difference that will be celebrated for all eternity!”