New Apostolic Church USA

Servants of Christ

District Apostle Kolb's introduction letter from the Winter 2018 Vision Newsletter

Dear brothers and sisters,

We are rich in Christ! This is our theme for 2019.

I would like to focus this letter on one aspect of this wealth – the many ministers in our congregations. Nearly all of our servants are lay-ministers, i.e. unpaid by the church for their ministerial activity. Their driving motivation is the love they have for Christ and for those who Christ loves. Hence, they give many hours of their lives to serve in manifold ways in our congregations, setting aside time from their families, professions, and personal lives. It is a noble calling to serve in ministry, notwithstanding, it also requires a sacrifice, which at times is neither understood, nor appreciated.

From time to time, I have received complaints that “my minister never visits me” or “he is not available during the day for my calls.” Brothers and sisters, do you realize that these servants must balance all the elements of their lives in an environment completely different from the one that we lived in during the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s? The professional demands of their time are far more onerous and the increased pressures, wrought by the advancing technologies, are at times, unbearable. Just a few examples:

  • Emails demand replies in minutes in comparison to letters, which took days or even weeks to arrive, let alone be answered and returned.
  • Before cell phones were common, we would call home or office phones and if the person was not there, we would simply wait until later that day, or the next day to call them back. Now, with most people owning a cell phone, we expect that our calls are answered immediately and 24 hours a day.

I believe that for our ministers to serve Christ effectively, they must have a balanced life between family, careers, personal life, and ministry. Our ministers want to provide pastoral care for you in the love of Christ, and I believe that they try to do the best they can. But as members, we cannot have unreasonable expectations of them.

Let’s reflect back to an understanding brought to us by Chief Apostle Urwyler of self-responsibility. It is important that every Christian recognizes that:

  • I am solely responsible for my soul’s welfare and, more importantly, my relationship with Jesus Christ.
  • The word of James 5:16 – The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man [believer] avails much… means that all sincere prayers are accepted before God. The Chief Apostle Leber said, quite openly, that his prayers were not of higher merit than another’s.
  • God has provided me servants to help along the way. They are not here as a crutch or to make my decisions for me, but rather to pray that the Holy Spirit may guide my path according to the Lord’s will.

Serving Christ will never be convenient – it always requires a sacrifice. Let’s support and care for our ministers, as they care for us, and express our gratitude to God for these gifts in our congregations!

With love,

LR Kolb

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