Friday, February 24, 2012

Influencing People One-on-One Is More Important Than Preaching Before Thousands

"When you are not needed, you lose part of your purpose."
- Ed Dobson

It's 6 AM in Monroe, and I am wide awake. Because I see that Ed Dobson is dying, as we all are. I just read his story, and watched his video... here.

I think I need a wake-up call every day of life. Some kind of alarm that jump-starts me out of any spiritual lethargy I've succumbed to, a buzzer that stings me and injects God-adrenaline into my soul.

We awake, again. Ordinariness becomes gratitude. Indifference becomes concern. Tiredness turns to strength. Fog dissipates into clarity.

Ed Dobson, former pastor of 5,000 in Grand Rapids, has ALS. Overnight, he became pastor of zero and needed by only a few. He writes:

"There is no way to describe the hopeless feeling of knowing that you only have a few years to live, and most of that time will be in the disabled condition. How does it feel?
It feels like you are sinking into the darkness.
It feels like you have left the warmth and sunshine and descended into a tomb.
It feels like you are in slow motion while the rest of the world speeds past.
It feels like you have a ringside seat to your own demise.
It feels overwhelming!"

What do you do when you are dying, like you are? You find a compelling purpose. Dobson found his in this: "I decided to live like Jesus. The paradox is, that for me the purpose is following Jesus, which I'd been trying to do all my life."

What will you do with the limited time you have to make a difference?

Dobson regularly preached before thousands every weekend. Now, he ministers with one person at a time. He says, "You would think that influencing thousands is more important than influencing one. But I'm gradually learning that influencing one-on-one is way more important."

Dobson says his ALS has forced him into an understanding of what it means to obey Jesus. And knowing that our worth is not the same as our usefulness.