Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Take the next step

The thing is, spiritually, we never arrive. There is always something more. Some other challenge. Some "next step" that we are called to take.

Take sanctification. ("Please!" some would say.) Just when the Holy Spirit cleans up one part of my life and I begin to think I am finally getting the hang of this faith thing, God reveals another area of my heart that needs swept clean. I'm reminded of the Mennonite Bishop that told his protege, "When you've been practicing the discipline for forty years it goes this much easier," as he held his thumb and forefinger a fraction of an inch apart.

Or what about service? God - though never demanding more than He was willing to give (and gave) - always urges me to do more. Paul expressed it this way:
I'm not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don't get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I've got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I'm off and running, and I'm not turning back.
God always challenges his followers to take the next step.

What is the next step for you?

At South Lansing Christian Church, we focus on seeking, studying and serving God. And we frequently challenge people with where they are in that process. What is the next step that God is calling me to make? Does God want me to take a step of faith and serve him somewhere or with someone that challenges my comfort? Am I being called to take the next step by embracing some spiritual discipline that will help me seek God? Does God want me to take a step of faith and start doing life together with others in a study group?

The next step . . .

Over the course of the next four weeks, South is going to be exploring this idea of taking the next step in your spiritual journey. At the conclusion of that series, on October 4, I will challenge you to take the next step - wherever God is leading. And, there is a concrete, specific way that you can demonstrate that you're going to do so.

On Sunday, October 4, I am asking every person that commits to taking the next step to bring a pair of new or clean used kid-sized boots or shoes with them to church. We'll be donating them to kids that need them. Can't afford boots or shoes? No problem - bring a new pair of socks. We'll gather them all up and distribute them where they're needed.

Your generous donation will serve two purposes. First, it will signify that you're going to take the next step in your faith journey. You're going to go where God wants you to go - whether that is joining a study group, or committing to a regular time alone with Him, or diving into an area of service. And, in a very real way, your donation will bless a child with warm toes this winter.

I hope you will join me and take the next step.


Anonymous said...

Your sermon is nothing more than an example of someone so self-centered they can even get buy a kid a pair of shoes. If you gave up your fast food for one day or that day of golf you had last week maybe you would have money for a child in need. A pair of socks! Shame on you! And you call yourself someone who wants to serve. You need to lead if you are going to teach others. Oh and by the way, Meijer is having a sale on kids shoes.

Frank Weller said...

Thanks, I'll check out the shoe sale. The golf was a gift from a friend in Indiana who gave me his free passes to Centennial Acres. I went with two other people from our church and a fellow preacher friend. Yes, golf is a "fun" activity, but when it is free, I find it is a good way to combine relaxation with connecting and encouraging one another in our ministries.

And you're right about McDonald's. My wife certainly agrees with you and has encouraged me to eat better and save more.

I can see how you would think my comment about the socks is me being cheap. As a church staff we were concerned that some people would feel pressured into doing something they could not afford, so we came up with the sock idea. By saying I was buying socks I hoped to assure folks that everyone could contribute something even if a pair of shoes seemed out of reach.

I apologize that I lead so poorly from your perspective.

Feel free to drop me an email at if you want to continue the conversation, or give me a call at the church office.

When criticizing someone, especially publicly, anonymity does not contribute to a solution or even a constructive dialogue, but only serves to create division in the church, which Satan exploits and brings dishonor to Christ. I think we can both do better, don't you?

Blessings . . . Frank

Smbless said...


I am pretty sure that when Jesus said that we are to go to the person who has offended us in Matthew 18, He didn't mean for you to use a public media outlet to do it in. I encourage you to do the right thing by going to this author privately to discuss your issues with him, instead of taking the easy way out and not publishing your name and by not doing what Jesus told us to do.

Not ashamed to leave my name,

Anonymous said...

I completely agree it's one thing to have a problem with someone an confront them about it but it's another to put some one down and not even leave your name. I'm praying for you anonymous.