July 8, 2019

July 8, 2019

July 8, 2019
Acts 19:21-27
by Scott Layer
Pastor of Central UMC Lenoir City
Tennessee Valley District

There is an African proverb that goes like this, "If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together."  The apostle Paul understood this principle.  In Acts 19:21-22, we see Paul sending two of his helpers, Timothy and Erastus, to Macedonia while he stayed in Asia a little longer to minister.  Paul realized that he could only do so much on his own.  He needed to empower those whom he had invested in to go out and minister.  

My God moment at the 2019 Holston Annual Conference came at the retirement celebration. I was watching the videos of the retirees, several of them giving wisdom to younger clergy.  While I was watching that, I could not help to think of what I would say in 20+ years when I retire (IF Jesus doesn't come back first).  What wisdom would my 72 year old self say to my 49 year old self?  I heard this words, "Scott, invest in a few".

This seems contradictory, doesn't it?  Our goal should be to reach as many as we can, share the gospel, reach people in our communities for Christ.  I agree we should do that. Yet at the same time, we should also invest our lives more deeply in a few who can also do the same for others.  Paul said in 2 Timothy 2:2, "And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others."  The reason I am here today is because someone invested their life into me. Too often in my life, I have sought to go fast rather than go far.  I have not always intentionally invested in a few.  

I was reminded at Annual Conference of the primary and urgency of the need to invest in a few. Whether you are laity or clergy, our call is the same; to make disciples of Jesus Christ.  While our to-do lists are always growing, I invite you to join me in reprioritizing by investing in a few.