Richard Ray: We are builders of Christ’s kingdom

I come to you today with a word of encouragement during this Easter season, when we remember the sacrifice our Savior made for us and the power of his resurrection that brought salvation to the world.

richard ray130Richard RayAs ministers, we spend our time pursuing. We pursue former church members, trying to get them to return to church. We pursue visitors, trying to get them to become members, and we pursue the lost, trying to introduce them to the saving grace of Jesus Christ. It seems some of our most valued time is in pursuit.

Pursuing for the sake of Christ can be very trying on the soul. It is difficult at times, and it takes much of our time we could spend in other areas of our life. However, ministers know that without the pursuit of others for Christ, our pews would be empty, our budgets would decrease and ministry would suffer.

However, those are all the wrong reasons to pursue others for Christ. We are not in the ministry to fill our coffers or to build up our Sunday school roll; we are in the ministry because God has called us to reach the world for his sake. We are not maintainers of his kingdom; we are builders of his kingdom.

texas baptist voices right120Even though I am pursuing for the sake of Christ, I must remember Christ also is pursuing me for his sake. First John 4:19 says, “We love him because he first loved us.” All throughout God’s word, we find God pursuing us, from the Garden of Eden to the empty tomb. This verse reminds us the only reason we are pursuing others for Christ is because Christ first pursued us.

Jesus Christ has always taken the initiative in our relationship with him. This gives me the strength and fortitude to keep pursuing others for Christ, to keep doing what God has called me to do to further his kingdom and to keep my pursuit beyond the pews and the budgets by keeping my pursuit on the cross.

However, this pursuit cannot be accomplished alone, and we at the Bivocational/Small Church Association understand this. We want to hear of your challenges and your struggles as you serve the Lord. We also want to pray with you personally as fellow pursuers of the cross. If you will email us and share your heart, we will contact you personally to visit with you and pray over you.

Our pursuit is the same—to be builders of the kingdom of God. Remember, God has called you to serve, but God has not called you to serve alone. Let us be your advocate, your resource and your prayer partner as you fulfill your calling. Until next time, please visit our website,

Richard Ray is president of the Bivocational/Small Church Association, pastor of First Baptist Church in Wink and director of missions for Pecos Valley Baptist Association. You can reach him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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