A message from Jim:
Years ago, when I was a pastor in Chicago, right around this time
of year, I learned a powerful lesson. I had just shared in one of
my sermons about some of my flaws and struggles, and about a mistake I
had made. My two young daughters had excitedly shown me the
Christmas tree they had decorated. Instead of complimenting them
on a beautiful job, I had said, “It’s crooked!” Needless to say,
my daughters were disappointed with my reaction. And I shared how I
was disappointed with myself, too.
As soon as the service was over, an older lady approached me and thanked
me for being open and vulnerable with the congregation. She said
it helped her to hear that preachers struggle and make mistakes
too. I learned that being honest and transparent was the best way
to let people get to know me. Too many preachers try to create a
façade of having it all together. They think that people will not
follow a man who isn’t perfect. I learned that day that openness
and honesty will serve me better than trying to create the impression
that I am perfect.
With all that said, I want to let you in on something. I struggle
with this time of year. Not Christmas. I love the Christmas
season. Our house has been decorated since before Thanksgiving.
Christmas music plays at our house all throughout the day.
No, what I struggle with is the end of the year when it comes to asking
for donations to this ministry. I want to be a man of faith.
I want to always have faith that God will provide, and He has, for over
10 years! We have never lacked a thing. But, for those who
may not know it, this time of year has been very vital to Justapreacher
We thank God every month for those who give monthly. Your monthly
donations are such a continual encouragement. But the monthly
giving rarely, if ever, covers the monthly expenses in this
ministry. It is the generous end of year gifts that have given us
the cushion to handle the monthly expenses that are more than the
monthly income. So, I want you all to know how much both groups
are appreciated, and I ask you to pray about what God would have you do
in this area. Your generous gifts have made it possible for me to
travel to churches who feel they can’t afford to pay for my travel and
meals, and to be a blessing to pastors and their families instead of
being a drain to church budgets. Thank you all for being a part of
what God is doing through Justapreacher Ministries. There is a
balance between letting people know when there is a need, and trusting
God, not man, to meet the need. This is still something I wrestle
with, but letting you know that has helped a little bit. I hope
you all have a great Christmas season, and I can’t wait to see what God
has in store for 2017!
In Christ’s Overwhelming Love,