Begin to Begin

“Lord help me to begin to begin.”  George Whitfield

I read this quote today in JI Packer’s now classic book, “Knowing God”.  I did a little research on the internet in order to get some context on the quote.  The only tidbit of information that I found is that Whitefield said this after preaching the Gospel for 30 years (source).  I wonder if he prayed this prayer every day for 30 years?

It’s been just over a month since we moved into our mission field in Carrollton.  God has answered prayers and opened doors.  Just about every morning I wake up prayerful and hopeful that God will bless our work and ministry.  On those confident days, I’d like to be praying Whitefield’s prayer “Lord help me to begin to begin”.

I’m not naive enough to think that days of discouragement aren’t coming.  I know they are likely just around the corner.  Indeed, discouraging times have already sprung up here and there but thankfully have lasted hours rather than days.  In the midst of disappointment, I hope I can be found praying Whitefield’s prayer “Lord help me to begin to begin”.

Every day a new day.  Keep pressing on.  No matter the seeming successes, no matter the seeming failures.  “Lord help me to begin to begin.”

“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.”  Galatians 6:9

 

Affluence and Ministry Success?

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“We often see successful ministry as ministry among the affluent and successful.  The models we admire are suburban models, and events are designed for university students, professionals, and white collar families.  The ministers of affluent, suburban churches dominate our conference platforms, and their patterns of church life are presented as the norm.  There is little biblical reflection on poverty, because such churches are not working among the poor.  Under-resourced churches struggling in marginalized areas are undervalued and their work among the poor viewed with suspicion.”

Tim Chester “Good News to the Poor”