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  • Joseph Tkach

Lighthouse Rescue

Jerry Matyiko has one of the most unusual jobs in the world: he rescues lighthouses. How does he do it? By moving them! Using his engineering skills, specialized equipment and some good old-fashioned elbow grease, he’s able to save these buildings from destruction. The process is tedious – but it always pays off.

When I read about Jerry’s work, I couldn’t help but think about how we are called to a similar task. I’m talking about supporting and renewing our existing ministries within the church. Often, it’s easy to neglect ministries that have worked well for a long time. We grow so comfortable with how things are done that we can be surprised to learn that maybe everything isn’t working as well as we thought: that maybe the whole “building” is in danger of falling off a cliff. And that’s when the process of revitalization needs to begin.

Sometimes, this means recognizing that a church might need pruning. It could be that the organization as a whole might function in a healthier way with some correction. Other times, it might mean realizing that gathering in one location isn’t advantageous, and realizing that maybe God is directing us somewhere else. And sometimes, we might just need to rest. It’s easy to burn out when your whole life is lived in the service of others, so it’s essential for us as the body of Christ to support one another and allow ourselves the space to rest and renew our passion for ministry.

No matter how we deal with these issues, what’s most important to remember is that we do so with passion, wisdom and a love for future generations. Because just like all those great lighthouses that Jerry rescued, we know that there are many of our churches and ministries that have shone their “light” faithfully for years. And with discernment, adjustments and diligence, I know that they can continue to shine, spreading the joy and grace of God’s Kingdom for many more years to come.

I’m Joseph Tkach, Speaking of LIFE.

Joseph Tkach has been president of Grace Communion International since 1995. He holds a Doctor of Ministry degree from Azusa Pacific University.

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Graphic elements from, image by L Trevarthen

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