Earlier this month I was honored to be the host and lead some worship for Summit 9. It’s a two-day conference presented by the Christian Alliance For Orphans. Ministries that specialize in adoption, orphan care, foster care, and advocacy for children in need are all part of the event. People associated with these ministries along with families who are considering adoption, foster care, or being a part of orphan ministries all attend. 2500 people from 49 states and 25 countries all descended on Brentwood Baptist in Brentwood, TN.
It was an amazing, overwhelming, emotional, fun, and heart-filling two days. So much passion, dedication, and commitment to reaching and serving those cannot help themselves.
It affirmed and reignited the fire Sherri and I have burning inside us for ministries like Compassion and the blessing of our adoption. Even more so an ever-clarifying focus on helping son and daughters, moms and dads become more deeply connected through worship.
So why am I giving you an update on the event and our experience? It probably is sounding like a state of Peder Eide address.
It’s because of simple phrase Jedd Medefind, President of the Christian Alliance for Orphans, said a couple times. It’s not profound nor a fancy lyric. It wasn’t a little, unknown verse that is rarely recited but a phrase is deeply rooted in scripture.
The phrase that came up each time Jedd would speak was: “we need to act.”
No big ooohs and awwwws. Just that phrase.
“We need to act.”
It strikes me because it seems so much of ministry time is spent in having more conversations, discussions, online get-togethers, and so on. Not only does time get wasted but our heart fire and desire starts to fade.
Hear me clearly: being planned, focused, and organized are right and I am not advocating we become reckless in our actions with no sense of outcome or consequence.
I am however believing that we can become so caught up in studying needs, discussing understandings, and seeking more information that we could actually become emotionally convinced we’ve done enough without ever acting.
The following verses seem pretty clear to me:
If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. I John 3:17-18 NIV
It’s why we advocate for Compassion children. It’s why we adopted. It’s why we try to be rescuers as best as we can with what we have.
Acting doesn’t make you more righteous than someone who does not. No. Never.
It does, however, take you from an observer to a participant.
Remember: life is better caught than taught.
I needed to hear this, Jedd.
Thanks, Summit 9. Thanks, CAFO. Thank you to all who act.
What do you need to act on?
If you were at Summit 9, what was your one take away?