Hi, I’m John Craft. I’m the regional executive director of the Rocky Mountain Church Network. And I am thrilled and excited to be a part of the Venture Church Network as we seek to fulfill our mission of helping churches take bold next steps. The reason I’m excited to be a part of that mission is because I’m convinced that God has such greater things for us as we serve Him through serving His church.
Part of the reason I think that has to do with a parable that Jesus tells in Matthew chapter 25. He tells there the parable of the talents, a familiar parable to many. There’s a master who’s going on a trip, and so he gathers his servants and he gives three of them some financial resources. To one he gives five talents, to another he gives two talents, and to another he gives one talent, all those of gold. A huge amount of money,
As he leaves, the ones that he gave five talents or two talents to take those resources, and they work with them, they invest them. They see essentially a 100% return on those resources. The servant who received one talent however out of fear and, according to the master’s assessment, laziness takes that talent and he hides it, he buries it. Now that master returns and as he’s settling account, he calls his servants in. To the ones who used their resources to increase his assets, he says to them, “Well done good and faithful servant. You’ve been faithful over a little. I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.”
I heard DA Carson preach through this parable and he summed it up so beautifully. He said that the point of this parable is that our roles as believes is to increase the assets of the maser. Now, we often hear that phrase and we immediately think of financial resources. However, I think there’s much more to this parable than that. See, you and I, we are called to use the resources that God has given to us to increase His kingdom assets. Yes, there’s some aspect of financial resources there, but much more than that. There are people who are coming to faith, there are believers who are getting baptized, and there are disciples who are stepping into greater aspects of ministry.
Now, how does that fit in with taking bold next steps? I’m afraid that we have a misconception of what it means to be faithful in ministry. There are some who assume being faithful in ministry means simply showing up. Being present, being there for a long time. What I see in this parable of Matthew chapter 25 is that the servant who received one talent, he was there. He was present. When the master returned, he dutifully came and yet the master is not pleased because see, to be faithful means to be active. I believe to be faithful means to be bold.
So, as we think about our churches, as we think about the bodies of believers that we lead, that we serve, that we shepherd faithfully, how are we encouraging them to take a bold next steps? To take a bold next step as we seek to increase the assets of the master? So as people who have been entrusted with a little, let’s see what we can do to take a bold next step in following Jesus.
Executive Director of Rocky Mountain Church Network