Column: Wading at the water’s Edge
Published 8:31 am Tuesday, September 5, 2023
By Pastor Randy Reid | Clanton First Assembly of God
One of my fondest childhood memories of summer is of myself and my friends swimming in a local creek near my home. Something that I was prone to do during my frequent trips to the creek reminds me of the way many Christians approach their participation in the local church.
Being raised approximately ten miles from downtown Mobile it was far enough away from the city to enjoy the blessings of living in a rural community. One of my favorite activities of summer was getting together with my friends and spending most of the day at the creek that was located a couple miles from my house.
We accessed the creek by walking abandoned logging trails overgrown by weeds and scrub oaks. But as we got close enough to the creek to hear the current rushing, all the boys would take off in a sprint, and the first one to reach the creek and jump in was the winner.
I, like the rest of the boys, raced to the water, but when I reached the edge I’d usually stop short of diving right in. Instead, I would wade at the edge getting my skin adjusted to the cold creek water. I’d ease in ever so slowly, deeper and deeper till I was totally immersed. My friends on the other hand would dive headlong into the water as soon as they reached the edge. By the time I was finally ready to fully immerse myself, my friends had been enjoying the water for quite some time already.
As a pastor I have often thought about how as a boy my hesitation to jump into the water is the way a lot of Christians are about jumping into the ministry of the Church. Instead of fully committing to church life they often wade around at the water’s edge.
As much as I loved going swimming I couldn’t fully enjoy it until I was willing to jump all the way in. The reason why church can be an unfulfilling experience for many is not always because the preaching is boring or the choir lacks talent or the ministry programs are limited. Often, it’s simply because we are wading at the water’s edge of church life when we ought to just jump in and become fully immersed in the life and ministry of the local body.
Swimming at the local creek was a wonderful and enjoyable experience. However, it wasn’t completely fulfilling as long as I was merely splashing around near the edge. It was only when I fully committed to getting all the way in that I was able to experience the full joy of the experience.
Likewise, church life is a wonderfully fulfilling experience, but only when you are fully committed to the cause and emerge yourself its ministry. So, if you are just splashing around the water’s edge of church life and bored to death with it, try fully committing yourself to it and see the difference it makes in your life.