Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Christ is King (even during a pandemic)

“He said to him, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and most important command. The second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets depend on these two commands.” Matthew 22:37-40
The Golden Commandment seems a pertinent passage to reflect on today. The latter portion of this scripture is often co-opted, always leaving out the centrality and primacy of the Lord God. Loving God in completeness is a posture of submission that is contented in faith with all that God may bring into our lives. The greatest command is complete and utter satisfaction and submission to God. Second to that we must love our neighbours — near and far.

Love God (even during a pandemic)
It can be easy to be afraid when the world is roiling in a global crisis. When there is an abundance of misinformation and confusion, what do we believe? Though the spirit may be willing, so often the flesh cannot but help be overwhelmed by the circumstances mounting around us.

As with all things there tends to be a polarized response; in the case of the Covid-19 pandemic, there seems to have been two primary responses that are dramatically present. People seem to either be overtly given to panic or they are indignant and ambivalent. The apparent overreaction by some seems to have led others to be unwise in their responses. We are wise to temper our responses to others with the kind of grace the gospel demands. We do well to remember our creator, the creator of this virus, the sovereign God over all things.
“For everything was created by Him,
in heaven and on earth,
the visible and the invisible,
whether thrones or dominions
or rulers or authorities—
all things have been created through Him and for Him.”
Colossians 1:16
“All things were created through Him,
and apart from Him not one thing was created
that has been created.”
John 1:3
We can rest in His grace.
“Taste and see that the Lord is good.
How happy is the man who takes refuge in Him!”
Psalm 34:8
Taking refuge in our good Father is a relationship of comfort that holds Him as central. To take refuge in God is to recognize Him as King and abide in confidence and contentment with His ultimate plan.

Love Others (even during a pandemic)
We have a responsibility to be prudent, prepared and kind to our neighbours. We are called to obey our government, pray for our leaders and protect our families as best we can. Let's pray together for one another and for the world as it faces some grim realities associated with this viral outbreak.

From fear proceeds panic, from ignorance proceeds ambivalence; all that remains is prudent caution. We do not wish to contribute to panic, but we must exercise wisdom as only available from our Father.
“For God has not given us a spirit of fearfulness, but one of power, love, and sound judgment.” 2 Timothy 1:7
Christian love is rooted in faith and is not conspiratorial. (Isaiah 8:11-17)
Christian love is generous, not hoarding up for self but sharing with those in need. (Luke 6:30)
Christian love submits to our leaders as they strive to protect the most vulnerable of our society. (Romans 13:1-7)
Christian love is not smug and dismissive of the very real fears of those who do not have the great refuge of Christ the King. (Colossians 4:5-6)

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

The Centrality of Christ in Ministry

It’s simple, Christian ministry is about Christ. Holding the Son of our almighty Father as central to our lives and ministry isn’t particularly optional. We are commanded to make Christ the central figure of our lives; the main character of our story, so to speak. There are those who like to say that Christianity is something special because it’s simply about a “relationship”. But it is quickly forgotten that this is not a typical relationship where all things are considered equal. This relationship is one of complete abandonment to, and dependancy on — Christ. We cannot presume to live in effective obedience in life or ministry if we say with our mouths that we follow Jesus but refuse to make Him the central figure of our lives in submission, self denial, slavery and servanthood.

Taking a critical look at how we approach our relationship to our local church and the leadership God has blessed us with should humble us. If Christ is central to my life, His affection for His bride, the Church, will flow from my heart. Praying that my Church leadership holds Christ as central to their lives and ministry is my faithful responsibility, after praying the same thing for myself, especially when I think I’m right and they are wrong. Rage in the face of correction is seldom righteous in the hearts of sinful people.

It’s more than just words. Many affirm the theology of holding Christ central, many hate what it looks like to apply it. If Christ is not central to my life, it means I have set Him aside and placed something in His rightful place. The evidence of this is borne out in the fruit of our lives. We set Jesus aside when our testimonies are beautifully woven tales that grip tightly to our egos and keep the almighty “me” as central to the story. We set the work of God aside when our biggest concern is numbers or dollars or equipment. Christ becomes secondary when we rely on our traditions and pride instead of immersing ourselves in scripture and following Biblical principles. Compromise comes in many subtle forms and often zeal is gas to the fire of compromise.

What does any of this have to do with Arrowhead? Everything. Under the authority of scripture, submitting well to obedient and flourishing local churches and holding Christ central, that is what missions is all about. The Gospel, the story of Christ and His work, we love it. We love to share it, no matter how it’s received. If you love it, why not prayerfully consider coming to serve the Lord with us here at ANBC? Discipling and teaching, evangelizing and serving - together we can be an example of what it means to hold Christ as central to life.

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

16 Ways to be a Bad Volunteer

This is not us saying anything other than, "Hey, consider these things when you volunteer". Think, Babylon Bee. Satire is fun, and helpful. You know, unless you are triggered and confused. 

There tend to be two kinds of people that serve as volunteers. There are those who volunteer and give freely, and there are those who take freely. Here is some advice about how to, most effectively, be the second one. 

1 • Have A Bad Attitude: Volunteering can be a real drag. The pay is horrible, the hours unreasonable, the people unskilled and frustrating. If you show up to volunteer for an organization, make sure you make it clear up front that you will only do certain jobs. If you are tasked with something you really don’t want to do, make sure everyone knows about it. Passive aggressive behaviour is best, but if you’re not sure how to do that just state it flatly every time someone is in earshot. 

2 • The Power of Me: Refuse to work with anyone you don’t like, especially if you want to be in charge and they won’t let you. The only way to overcome this kind of conflict is with ultimatums and bullying. 

3 • Expect Some Pay: We know we are volunteering, but this charity organization must have some available resources that they would be willing to share. After all, they got it all for free anyway. It’s pretty selfish of them to hog all the resources for themselves. Besides, you’re giving your valuable time to them - you deserve to walk away with something. The least they could do is give you a hoodie. 

4 • Complain About the Food: Some charities are kind enough to feed you, but hey, it better be good. You’ve worked hard all day, you deserve a nice hearty delicious 4 course, low-sodium, gluten free, nut free, non-dairy, fair trade, Keto friendly, THM meal. And bad coffee is just a deal breaker. 

5 • Hate the Accommodations: Some charities are equipped to house their volunteers, it is your right as a hard working volunteer to a nice soft king size bed and ensuite bath to soak your weary bones. A bunk house is just disrespectful. 

6 • Good Enough is Good Enough: Remember, it’s a charity, they’re lucky to have you. When you’re working, good enough is good enough. Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades and volunteer work. So the building’s a little crooked, or the paint’s the wrong colour, you get a slight shock every time you get in the shower — it’s good enough for this place! 

7 • Fanfare: You have taken time out of your schedule to give that time at no charge. There best be some celebration of your presence. You are there to be celebrated. Let the celebrations begin. #NumberOneVolunteer

8 • Forget the Rules: Rules are always made because of very specific incidents. You don’t need to worry about the rules because you are a mature, responsible adult. How dare they impose any rules on you. Fascists. #Legalism

9 • Calendars and Clocks are for Chumps: You’ll get there when you get there. It’s not like they NEED you to be there before things begin. And there are lots of other volunteers, so peeling off early is only a matter of setting healthy boundaries and not falling subjective to the oppression of the calendar. 

10 • Training is for Everyone Else: You know everything you need to know. The university of life has brought you up to speed quite nicely. Books, blogs, videos and lectures are a bore that you just don’t need in your life. Why do we have to overthink EVERYTHING. 

11 • Paperwork is for Chumps: There has got to be some reason you shouldn’t have to do a police check or fill out that application form. What do they think you are, a criminal? 

12 • It’s All About the Selfies: Work and work safety are irrelevant when it comes to selfies. Make sure you post pictures that put the organization you are volunteering for in a compromising light. You just want to be sure it LOOKS like you’ve worked hard. 

13 • Impose Your Wisdom: Workers at charities love nothing more than for guests to come and tell them everything they should be doing, and how they should be doing it. You can safely assume they do almost nothing with their time and resources and that your first impression of every situation you encounter is a nugget of as-to-yet-be-considered, wisdom. Make sure you tell everyone. Further to that, make sure you express absolute outrage when your advice goes unheeded and your recommendations unapplied. Threatening to leave during critical times is the most helpful approach. 

14 • Don’t Offer Solutions: One of the most helpful things you can do is offer helpful constructive criticism for areas of deficiency. Just be sure to leave out the constructive part. There’s no need to ever offer potential solutions along with your criticisms. Cold criticism is a hallmark of volunteer work. 

15 • Gossip: The most important thing to remember is to leave the charitable organization or ministry having hard feelings for something trivial, or that you didn’t fully grasp - and then pass that confusion on to everyone who will listen. It’s your responsibility. 

16 • Don’t be a Lemming: Everyone knows who the Lemmings are. How can they possibly enjoy such a compliant, servant hearted and submissive style of volunteer work? Does no-one stand up for themselves anymore. This volunteer experience is about you, so make sure you don’t let anyone take that away with their goody two shoes example. You’re not jumping into the ocean with them.  


At Arrowhead, we have been immensely blessed by wonderful volunteers over the years. Our volunteers have come humbly to serve God with us, and have given freely of their time and energies. We are so very grateful for their love and service and by no means wish to criticize their loving service. Hopefully our list can give you some things to consider as you prepare for volunteering, perhaps you can think a little bit critically about your attitudes when you are volunteering, whether with a Christian agency or any charity. We can all strive to serve God well together and set aside many of the things that rear up and compromise Christian service and ministry.