Outpost Ministry and Life

As parents we have wondered when it would be okay to introduce our kids to the classic movie Dances With Wolves. Maybe Kevin Costner’s best role and such a memorable movie for us Gen Xers. Of course the themes in the movie are not too devastating for our kids (11, 8, 6) but we remember them as bold because of the age we first watched.

Thinking of the lone soldier sent to serve at an outpost which he finds deserted relates significantly with small church ministry.

At times it can feel like, as the lone vocational pastor, I have been sent to run an outpost without battalion. Much of the work to be done falls into my hands and with few true partners in the labor, it can be an isolating experience. Like Costner’s character you have a couple of options. Go crazy and find yourself in the bottom of a pond. Or do the work, repair what is broken and restore the outpost. It’s exhausting and endless but beats the alternative.

I am thankful that I have among me wonderful people hungry for more of Jesus. They encourage me onward, but I can hear the whistle of the prairie as a desolate place if I spend too much time looking at the wrong things. It gives me empathy for other pastors in the small places. Faithfully toiling and bringing pleasure to God.

So friends if you find yourself in the deserted outposts of our day, press on. You are kept by Jesus for his glory. He will build his church and he will give you rest.

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