Learn the Lessons of Nehemiah
BE PREPARED AT ALL TIMES!
The Bible tells us to be prepared to give an account of the hope within us at all times. Be prepared to share your vision with anyone who will listen. He saw the problem.
His first response was to weep and pray for wisdom before the living Lord of Heaven.
Then he mourned, wept over the problem and prayed to God. Now his natural first response is to REPENT!
It is very important that you see the need before you begin to help others. I remember that in the beginnings of Last Harvest, my eyes were opened to the needs of those suffering from life-dominating problems as I “looked” at the problem.
I was in an office overlooking a parking lot where women were coming and going from the abortion clinic next door. I watched them go in nonchalantly and come back out four hours later broken and devastated.
My experience of watching those women hobble to their car where they would sit for an hour weeping and sobbing broke my heart. Watching a young girl come out of the clinic, only to find that her boyfriend was nowhere to be found.
Thus, she sat on the curb of the street with her head on her knees weeping in the heat of the hot Texas summer sun. That picture burned in my mind and motivated me to action.
On that hot summer day, God prompted me to go downstairs and take a cold Coca-Cola to that girl. I invited her to come in where it was cool to use the phone. Once inside she began to weep and tell me her life story of abuse, incest, and now this boyfriend who had made her have the abortion. When she left, with tears in my eyes, I began to write down what was in my heart.
What has brought you to this place of wanting to help others in need?
What is your prayer for wisdom?
Have You Ever Seen an Abortion?
Have you ever seen AbortionNo.com‘s actual abortion video?)
Have you repented over abortion? Have you repented over the complacency, indifference, and apathy we see in the churches of today?
Share your vision about directing a pregnancy center with others
Put your vision on paper. Refine it. Pray over it. Share it with others. Tell it to everyone you can. Pray over it again. Watch God bring the results.
When I began this outreach, I first wrote a simple one-page purpose statement. I took that purpose statement and created a brochure that essentially said who and what the Last Harvest was going to be. I mailed personally signed letters to close friends and family inviting them to share in the blessings that were to come.
I refined the purpose statement into a one minute and three minutes expanded presentation. Those came in handy when asked by a friend what I was doing or when I was invited to share at a function or give a “testimony” at church.
The bottom line: BE PREPARED AT ALL TIMES! The Bible tells us to be prepared to give an account of the hope within us at all times. Be prepared to share your vision with anyone who will listen.
Costs of providing help to others.
Costs of your being at the center.
What costs (time, people, family, things, babysitter, loss of income) are you going to incur as you do this work of serving in a center? As a volunteer, your costs may be minimal, However, the spiritual attack you will face may be overwhelming. So what can you do to be ready?
Is your motivation correct?
Why are you wanting to help? If you have not been called by God and confirmed by others, then reconsider now. The last place you want to be is at a pregnancy center if you are not called to be there. You can do great damage to the individuals if you are not right with God.
Is there unconfessed sin in your life? Is there an area you have not allowed yourself to deal with? It is far better to deal with it before you get in your new position and face all the responsibilities and decisions that will have to be made.
ALWAYS BE PREPARED AND READY
Remember, as a volunteer, your purpose is to ensure that the center you represent is demonstrated as a professional and legal center and to confidently ensure that the executive director and staff and volunteers are adhering to the statement of faith and by-laws of the organization and the laws of the state.
Network with those at the center
As a volunteer, you will be part of a team. Always work as a team. Share your needs and concerns with the executive director. Pray. Watch God touch every client.
Attend National and Regional Conferences, Training, Workshops conducted by the pro-life community:
CareNet Annual Conference
Heartbeat International Conference
Gain from the experiences of other client advocates to ensure your role is effective as can be.
Network with other client service directors. The goal of proactive networking is not to sit around talking, but to rally support for your own ideas, and spark directed action toward the goal of more effective case management.
Keep your heart guarded at all times
Understand whose you are. Because you are of Jesus, you have an enemy who will devise plans and schemes to kill, steal, and destroy you. Don’t operate in fear, but do operate with a covering. Get with your Pastor. Ask him to cover you spiritually. Organize a prayer team who will cover you, your family, your coworkers as you do this work.
Always keep your focus: WHOSE ARE YOU?
“I know your deeds and your toil and perseverance, and that you cannot endure evil men, and you put to the test those who call themselves apostles, and they are not, and you found them to be false, and you have perseverance and have endured for My name’s sake, and have not grown weary. But I have this against you, that you have left your first love.” – Revelations 2:2-4.
How was it that the church in Ephesus could toil and persevere in the Lord’s work, stand up against evil in their day, be vigilant against false doctrine, and endure persecution for His name’s sake, only to discover in the end that God was not pleased with them?
Because in the final analysis, the heart of the issue is the issue of the heart. The one thing that God had against the church in Ephesus was the fact that they had left (not lost) their first love.
God has promised that He will never leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). So whenever our love relationship with the Lord begins to grow cold, it is always because somewhere along the way we have moved away from Him. In my experience, this is rarely a conscious decision or a willful act of abandonment.
Instead, we give our hearts away from a piece at a time, often without even realizing what is happening. Gradually, our love for God diminishes. Service to God and to others becomes a heavy burden. In time we may even become totally apathetic to the things of God unless He graciously intervenes in our lives – and He will if we ask Him to.
If we recognize that this is what has happened to us, how can we start over? How do we go about restoring our spiritual passion? God’s prescription for restoration is simply this: “Remember therefore from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first.” (Revelations 2:5).
The first step in personal spiritual revival is to humble ourselves before God and repent. Repentance means a change in attitude which should result in a change of behavior: There must be a willingness to walk away from our love affair with the world. A period of relative obscurity and insulation from the pressures of public opinion may be helpful.
We do this not to withdraw from the world, but to draw near to God (James 4:8) so that we can give Him our undivided attention. And in drawing near to God, His Spirit will rekindle our love for Him if we “do the deeds we did at first.”
As in any other love relationship, our relationship with God is a romance sustained by discipline; we cannot have one without the other. Romance is nurtured by the discipline of spending regular time with the One we love. We sit in His presence and gaze at His wonderful face.
We observe His mysterious ways and marvel at His love and wisdom. We listen to His gentle voice and share with Him the deepest secrets of our heart. We read His love letters over and over again until we know them by heart. We find out what He is interested in, and join with Him in doing them until we learn to love what He loves.
And then one day, we will discover that once again we are in love. And Jesus, the Lover of our soul, is once again the most important Person in our life!
JUST DO IT!
Don’t wait for someone to tell you to get started: JUST DO IT!
NEXT: WHAT IS MY JOB DESCRIPTION?