"You ought to rejoice when God asks you to proceed in the work of His kingdom because you know the victory is already secured. Don’t focus on the problems and failures of others. Focus on God’s assurance of victory. If you have trouble praising God with a song in your heart as you serve Him, it may be that your focus is not on God, but on your circumstances." - Experiencing God devotion
These are wonderful words of wisdom for anyone that is serving the Lord and joining Him in His kingdom work, and they are very helpful to me as well. Because we work with many churches, pastors, and people in various projects and events to share Christ, we inevitably work with some who lack passion for God and are without passion for reaching those who are without Christ. In our "Qualidade De Vida" (Quality Of Life) project in public schools we always work with a church located near the school, and at times the participation of the church is very weak and the pastor does not even participate. There is a huge contrast, because on one hand hundreds and even thousands accept Christ, and you can see that God is doing a powerful work in the hearts and lives of students, teachers, and school leaders - and yet there is the disappointing performance of the pastor and the church at the same time.
We have had 2 awesome outreach events in schools this year so far, and in both of them many accepted Christ and committed their lives to Him. In both of these events the participation of the church we worked with was weak - we ask the churches to send 4 or more people to help us each day of the event, and in these 2 events the churches each only sent 1 person per day, and the pastors did not participate. Personally I feel that the pastor needs to lead by example and participate, since reaching lost people and having a reconciled relationship with them is one of God's top priorities (as is taking the next step of making disciples of the new believers). Typically if the pastor and the church does not have good participation in these outreach projects, then there will be little if any effort to do the important follow-up work to begin to help and teach and disciple the new believers.
At times the occasional poor participation of the churches is very bothersome to me, and if I let it my focus can be moved to these bothersome circumstances and away from God and His assurance of victory. Rather than having an attitude and spirit of praise and anticipation, I end up with a heavy heart and a spirit of frustration. For me and for others, these are very helpful and wise words from the Experiencing God devotion. Let us keep our focus on God and on His great promises and assurances of victory (2 Cor. 2:14, Exodus 14:14, Ephesians 3:20, Deut. 31:7-8, 2 Chron. 20:17,...)