There are Still Good Stories

For the most of my adult life I have lived at least two provinces away from my folks, so, like any good son, I check in with them at least every couple of weeks. Back in olden times, those check-ins were full conversations with lots of stories and catching up, but these days not so much. My dad and I were joking the other night that nobody has any good stories anymore because we are all locked in our houses.  There is nowhere to go and nothing to see. People are pretty much keeping to themselves, and we can’t wait until things open up so that we have more stories to tell.

That conversation got me thinking. We were joking, but is it true that there are no good stories now?  There are good stories, but they sometimes get lost in the shuffle. Let me help you recall some of your own by sharing briefly the good stories and stuff that I am aware of.

  1. The Ministerial Education Guidance and Placement Committee (MEGAP) has been doing its work.  Now, that may not seem like a good story.  “Committee Does Work” is not an attention grabbing headline, but there are two reasons that this is a good news story:
    1. People obediently stepping into God’s call to credentialed ministry have not been delayed in their journey. This is good news for them and the FMCIC.  Godly, competent men and women are stepping into Kingdom service and leadership in our movement.  There are currently nine people approved for ordination and two people approved for commissioned ministry, all awaiting their celebrations. Countless others are still on their tracking journey. God continues to be at work, building His church.
    2. MEGAP and countless other groups, congregations, boards, and committees have found ways to do what they needed to do during this unusual season. In many cases, good, important Kingdom work is being done. Things haven’t stopped. The church hasn’t stopped. God hasn’t stopped. He continues to be at work building His church.
  2. A few pastors have told stories about how they have been able to engage with folks who had checked out their online services. In a couple of those cases, people became Christ followers.  Lives have been changed. Eternities have been changed. God continues to be at work building His church.
  3. I know my neighbors better. I don’t know all of them and some relationships are works in progress, but I’m getting there. Prior to the pandemic, I would be dashing off to do stuff and keep busy (some of it unnecessary running around it turns out), but now I have the opportunity to linger, chat, and hopefully represent Jesus. It started as lots of waving and dog petting but it has grown. Talk of life has started in some cases. I hope and pray that God will be at work through me because He is still at work building His church and me.

It’s a starter list, but hopefully it will get you thinking about the good stories that are happening around you. Of course you noted the theme. There will always be good stories because God is at work building His church. We just need to notice, celebrate, and join in.

Marc McAlister
Director of Leadership Development and Church Health
Free Methodist Church in Canada

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