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We're Better Together

(Some of our staff with Ben Arment. We work better together.)

I'm constantly reminded that we're better off together rather than alone.

Ecclesiastes 4:12

12 Though one may be overpowered,
two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

(These are men we baptized this summer. As a church we're better together.)

This past week I was invited to spend some time down at Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany, GA. Sherwood is the church home to the movies "Facing the Giants" and "Fireproof". In a previous post I shared with you some of the impact this church made on my life.

Dr. Michael Catt invited me to a conference he hosts each year called "ReFRESH". The church paid for myself and an associate to fly in, gave us a rental car and great accommodations at a nice hotel by the water. Their church greeted us with a standing ovation which made me speechless at their love for us. What you need to know is that it wasn't corporate either, we were truly impressed with the love we received from every single person we encountered at Sherwood. Whether it be staff, volunteers or an elderly lady who grabbed me and smiled as I walked by in the worship center. A spirit of love rests all over the people of Sherwood.

From the Executive Pastor Jim McBride giving us a personal tour of their 100+ acre sports park to various staff members like Pastors John Spencer and Jim Jewell taking us out to eat, we were treated with a great deal of love and appreciation. We also had a great time hanging with Tracy Goode in the technical production room. Everyone and I mean everyone went over the top to love on us and we appreciated every bit of it. We only were able to spend 3 days on th e ground but I walked away feeling like honorary members of this great church. What Sherwood doesn't know is that God used their pledge of support to nudge me into taking a step of faith with our facility selection. Once we signed on the dotted line I had no idea how generous they would be. As a missionary on the front lines it is great to know that myself or m y team are not left alone. This church will reach many people far from God because we've got friends and our ministry is better together!

(Our marriage is stronger when spiritually, emotionally and physically we're together. We're better together.)

Upon my return from Sherwood it felt that the weight of the ministry was landing on my chest. I went from being in a place of peace and comfort and rest in God's word communicated by great preachers of the gospel to being thrust back into the day to day grind of getting our two locations off of the ground. With bills beginning to come in and systems not quite in place to even some heated moments within our team I quickly longed to be back on a plane to Sherwood. As you may suppose, God have any of that though.

What God does have are brothers in Christ going through the same thing here in Ba ltimore. This morning (Friday) I hustled around to get things in order to take the time to drive and pray with some fellow church starters. We ended up over in O'Donnell Heights, the housing project in which I was raised through my elementary years. I had the opportunity to pray for the people and beg God for him to pull more boys and girls out of that environme nt and place them into the Kingdom of God so they too can rise up to lead others. As I walked the streets it became clear to me as well that many of my concerns are petty compared to the streets on which I walked as a child. God has brought me far.

(Our summer college bible study found strength in numbers. They found that they grow better together.)

During that time this morning I was able to speak with several other church starters a bout their efforts in and around Baltimore. I spoke spanish (poorly) for a while with a hispanic Pastor. I spoke with my Kenyan brother who is working in the Odonell Heights area and I spent time with friends who are in Bolton Hill and Fells Point. For lunch I spent time with my partner in crime- Aaron Pankey who is an African American friend starting a great church near Morgan State University. As I wrapped up lunch today I thought to myself that my ministry is blessed because of these men. Each time we meet and pray with one another I can go back into my mission field with the knowledge that we are not alone and our ministry is better tog ether! I want to encourage you today. If you are alone and isolated in your work for God you must reach out and find people with whom to have fellowship. Fellowship is not stuffing your face and laughing about trivial things. Fellowship is time spent with Christ at the center of the relationship. I dare say that most Christian leaders do not have a genuine understanding of fellowship in their own everyday lives. It breaks my heart because we are better together.

For those of you who follow me on Twitter and took time to pray this morning, thank you. I felt your prayers and God spoke to me when I needed it most. As I received your many text messages, emails and facebook comments I was able to thank God for you and return the favor because we truly are ... that's right... better together. God bless.

(No such thing as a 1-man-band here. Our band plays sweet tunes better together.)

posted by Tally Wilgis @ Friday, September 25, 2009

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