Archive for the ‘Calling’ Category

Giving You the Best That I’ve Got

Monday, April 19th, 2010

The one thing I desire in ministry and in life is to give God the best that I’ve. I don’t always succeed, but I aspire to give him my best. How can we be sure that we are giving God the best we’ve got? Here are three very important questions that can help us to achieve maximum effectiveness in ministry and life.

Question #1: What is the motive of  your ministry? Service? Life?
Answer: Always choose the approval of God over the praise of people.

Question #2: How are you mastering your ministry? Service? Life?
Answer: Always choose excellence over mediocrity.

Question #3: What is the measure of your ministry? Service? Life?
Answer: Always choose the eternal over the temporary.

Which question(s) and answer(s) spoke to you the most? Which will you choose focus on over the next seven days?

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Greater Things

Friday, April 16th, 2010

My ten year old son asked us if he could have friends over. We usually say yes. But, this time we said no and reminded him that he had not been responsible in the small every day, normal things:

cleaning up his room
separating the recycling
picking up his clothes
helping with other household chores
going to bed on time

Because Micah had been irresponsible in smaller things, what made him think that we could and would trust him to be responsible in greater things. When he showed greater responsibility in smaller things, then we would be more apt to give him greater responsibility in bigger things. I think we miss opportunities of greater things because we cannot be trusted with the smaller things.  

However, sometimes I think God gives us greater responsibility, not because we are deserving or even because we are the most responsible people he could have chosen. Sometimes I think he gives us greater responsibility simply because he is a gracious Father and desires to bless us. But, I think he also gives us greater responsibility to expose our inability to handle the greater responsibility without him and to move us to break ourselves on his unconditional grace, creating the habit of humility.

I am readmitting today that, without God, not only can I not do the greater things, but I can do nothing. His help is not just nice, but it is absolutely necessary.

What assignments have you been given? How responsible are you in carrying out those assignments? What do you need to do to be more dependent on God in carrying out those assignments?

Popularity: 12% [?]

Jesus, Stop Blocking!

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010

I was reading Mark 5 and the story was about Jesus casting out demons, and God gave me pause as I came across these words from the demon: “Why are you interfering with us?” That question intrigued and convicted me.  I begin wondering if I have privately and secretly mouthed or lived these words to Jesus.

Jesus, why are you interfering? Why are you getting in my way? Why are you interfering with:

my career?

my family?

my plans for the future?

my agenda?

my time?

my success?

my kingdom?

my money?

my profits?

my sleep?

my day?

my life?

“Why are you blocking, Jesus?! We like you, and I might even say we love you, but not enough for you to get in the way of our lives. In fact, when following you becomes too inconvenient and involves too much sacrifice and suffering, we might just tell you to leave us alone, at least until the next time we need you. We apologize in advanced.”

The interesting thing is, when we were sinners on our way to hell, he interfered and rescued us, and we were grateful for his amazing grace, weren’t we? Well, if he was good enough to save us, he has to be good enough to lead us as well, right?

Here is what I’m learning: If he is my King, and I believe he is, then he has the right to get in the way of my life any time he desires. He has the right to interfere with my career, my 3 to 5 to 10 years plans, my family, and even my money. He can interfere because it all belongs to him. He can interfere and redirect if he so desires, without my permission. The assurance I have is, that his interference is designed to make his name famous through me.

Have you ever asked Jesus, “Why are you interfering with me?” How has his interference advanced his kingdom through you?

Popularity: 17% [?]

Pray For Us

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009

DSC025814 300x225 Pray For Us

As many of you are aware, I have accepted the call to be the Senior Teaching Pastor of Trinity Church in Lansing, Michigan. For those of you who prayed with and for us, we are thankful to God for you, your prayers and encouragement while we went through the lengthy and productive process. Although the process is over, the work is just beginning. We are excited about the adventure, but we know we can do nothing apart from Jesus. Here are some areas for which we ask you to pray:

1. Transition grace and wisdom
2. That we find the right school for our children
3. That our family builds a strong web of relationships
4. That God would increase my Cultural Intelligence Quotient
5. That I would practice good and wise exegesis of Trinity Church
6. That my Life Accounts (Faith, Priorities, Health, Family, Finance, Friends, and Service) will remain full and healthy
7. That we would remain connected to Jesus in the midst of the transition
8. That I would have a strong implementation of my Ideal Work Week
9. That God would lead us to the right house
10. That God would use us to bring many people to Jesus, for his glory
11.  That we would laugh a lot and have lots of fun

What transitions are you going through in this season of your life? How can my family and I pray for you during this transition time?

Popularity: 32% [?]

It’s Official!

Tuesday, December 15th, 2009

Here is a portion of the letter the elders of Trinity Church sent me yesterday, extending a call to be their next Senior Teaching Pastor:

Dear Marvin,

This is an important holy moment in the history of Trinity Church. The deacons have completed the counting of the ballots and the members of Trinity Church have overwhelmingly approved you as the next Senior Teaching Pastor of Trinity Church as recommended by the Elders.

Therefore, Trinity Church extends the call to you to become our Senior Teaching Pastor. We expect you to lead our Teaching Team and preach twenty-five to thirty times a year in our weekend services. You will also become one of our Governing Elders.  The Church is eager to see how God will use your teaching and leadership gifts in transforming lives into His image and equipping us for the work of the ministry. In addition there will be many opportunities besides the weekend services for you to advance the work of the Kingdom both inside and outside the walls of our Church. We are excited about what God will do in our midst through your ministry among us.

We ask that you would acknowledge the acceptance of the call to be the Senior Teaching Pastor of Trinity Church. As soon as we receive your response, we will inform our Church.

In Christ,

Here is my response to the call that the elders of Trinity Church extended to me:

Dear Elders of Trinity Church:

I greet you in the precious and powerful name of Jesus Christ.

I am writing you in response to your letter extending the call to me to be Trinity’s new Senior Teaching Pastor.  As we have inquired of God before and throughout this process, we strongly sense God leading us to serve God among and with the people of Trinity Church. Therefore, it is with great joy and excitement that I, along with my family, accept the call extended to me to be the Senior Teaching Pastor of Trinity Church. We are excited about how God will use us among you and you in our lives. Here is a verse that I desire to live out among you:

And now, a word to you who are elders in the churches. I, too, am an elder and a witness to the sufferings of Christ. And I, too, will share in his glory when he is revealed to the whole world. As a fellow elder, I appeal to you: Care for the flock that God has entrusted to you. Watch over it willingly, not grudgingly—not for what you will get out of it, but because you are eager to serve God. Don’t lord it over the people assigned to your care, but lead them by your own good example.  And when the Great Shepherd appears, you will receive a crown of never-ending glory and honor. 1 Peter 5:1-4

Because the Tomb is Empty
Marvin L. Williams, Teaching Pastor
Tabernacle Community Church

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Seizing Your Moment

Wednesday, December 9th, 2009

Over the next couple days I would like to discuss what it means to seize the divine moments God brings our way. God presents us with divine moments and opportunities each day. He longs to touch reality with eternity, and he wants to use us to do it. What does it take to seize the vision that God has given you? What does it take to embrace God’s vision as our own and impact the world for his glory?

I believe it begins with a divine encounter with God himself. Seizing our divine moment seems to always begin with being seized by the Holy. His love and grace arrest our attention and call us from a life of sin, bottom-feeding living, and selfish quests, to a higher purpose of living – living in covenant relationship with Him and pursuing his mission and vision.

Has his grace seized you? Melted your heart?

Read and ponder these verses: Acts 9:1-6; Philippians 3:12

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The Letter

Monday, November 23rd, 2009

Here is the letter I tried to share with our congregation yesterday. This was probably one of the hardest letters I have ever written.

My entire life and ministry have been about God’s call on my life

At 13 years old God called me out of darkness and into the light of his kingdom through his Son. At 20 years old, God called me into ministry.

Then God did something strange. Sixteen years ago God called me from cosmopolitan Chicago to a very different place called Grand Rapids, Michigan to serve at New Hope Baptist Church, alongside the late Donnell Smith.

Then God did something even stranger; he called me from a predominantly black church to serve at Calvary (a predominantly white church), alongside Ed Dobson. I believe that call set the tone in my life for helping to break down the racial and cultural barriers that had exist in churches today. My entire life has been about God calling me and me responding to that call.

Seven years ago, God called me to two men, Artie Lindsay and Kizombo Kalumbula, to plant a disciple-making church that looked like heaven. When I look around this morning, we see a church that, seven years ago, was just an idea. God made a crazy idea reality. In serving a Tabernacle, I have realized another call on my life – a calling as a bridge – a walkway between various cultures.

My entire life and ministry has been about God’s call on my life.

Several months ago, elders from Trinity Church, in Lansing, Michigan approached me to see if I would consider praying about serving as their next Senior Teaching Pastor (I did not initiate the conversations, send out resumes, and neither was I looking for new assignments. I believe God opened this door). So, Tonia and I began praying about it, and with our elders’ knowledge and blessing, we agreed to enter and go through the process to see if God was leading us to join him in Lansing, Michigan. After going through a lengthy process and interview, on Tuesday, November 17th, the elders of Trinity Church agreed to recommend me to their congregation as the candidate for their next Senior Teaching Pastor. My family and I sense God calling and leading in our lives, and we want to remain open to his leading and direction.

Because we love you and desire to honor you, we are asking you to pray with us, as we remain open to God’s will for our lives. Here are some dates that we invite to pray for us.

On December 12th and 13th, the Trinity congregation will vote whether to call me as their next senior teaching pastor.

Thank you for your prayers and support during this time in our lives.

What are your reactions to the letter? To what do you think God is calling you? How open are to his call on your life?

Popularity: 24% [?]