God is at work in Florida Conference! The stories in the Autumn 2012 issue of Florida Focus especially underscore that reality.
I have long been inspired by the life and ministry of Elder Horace Walsh. We are deeply indebted to him for 67 years of faithful service to our Lord—40 of those years here in Florida. God continues to use him powerfully.
Perhaps the most profound way that I see God at work is in the lives of so many surrendered lay members—both young and older; the ministry of fireman Rudy Prado; the wisdom and skill of lay worker Janice Boone; the Christ-like compassion of Prison Ministries volunteer Robert Wilson; the love for kids exhibited by Ed and Laura Wolanski; and the way God has led in the life of Jerry Sutton. These stories, featuring these committed volunteer workers, evoke in me a deep sense of gratitude, both to the Lord and to them.
The function of church leadership, according to Ephesians 4, is to equip God’s people for works of service. Shepherding is part of the role of the pastor, but even more so is the work of engaging believers in works of service to build up the Body of Christ. In fact, this is the way we grow to spiritual maturity. God’s ordained method for leading us to a life that reflects the character and ministry of Jesus is to guide us into blessing the lives of others. Each of us has abilities that the Lord has given which may be used to convey God’s love in tangible ways. Accepting the prompting of the Holy Spirit to become involved in the life of someone else is the path to a life of fulfillment and blessing.
Back in the summer of 1969, while attending church in Jacksonville, God used a witnessing team from Forest Lake Academy to ignite a passion within my young heart to show people God’s love. God is calling men and women, boys and girls, all over our Conference to communicate God’s love as they surrender themselves to be used by Jesus. May God bless you to say “yes” to the Holy Spirit when He prompts you to be a channel of blessing.