July 11, 2016
(Photo by Ester)
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Please note: Today I (Stephen) am in Arizona at a chaplain conference. I will also be leading a workshop on corporate chaplaincy.* Prior to the conference I met my oldest brother Mike in Flagstaff and made a long journey of tourist sites in Arizona and neighboring states. We will share photos in the coming messages. We do hope to publish a message on Wednesday this week.
Message Summary: Whatever type of service we are in for Christ, there is a sense that we are all “soul doctors” as we watch over souls, being vigilant in pointing people to the “Great Physician.”
Note: Podcast not prepared for this message
“They keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account” (Hebrews 13:17b).
I am at a chaplain’s conference in Phoenix with chaplains from all over the world serving in many different fields. Chaplains most prominently serve in the military, health care and prisons but also serve in a wide variety of specialized fields such as motorcycle clubs, rodeos, sports camps etc. For nearly 20 years now we have served as chaplains to businesses.
Many years ago we began a corporate chaplaincy service at Turkey Hill Dairy, a large dairy that produces over 100,000 gallons of ice cream every day (in 2003, probably a lot more now). At that time I was the supervisor of a group of chaplains, including Chaplain Brooksyne (yes, I was her boss for several years!), and we had gathered for a tour and orientation meeting. The company has very high standards of cleanliness and we were required to wear white lab coats when we walked through the production areas. We chuckled among one another as we waited for our tour to begin because with the white lab coats we really looked more like a group of doctors than chaplains! Jim, one the chaplains, wisely remarked, “We really are doctors; we are soul doctors!”
Soul doctor is an apt description of ministry for Christ as we serve under the “Great Physician.” Regardless of the type of ministry we are in or whether we are in vocational ministry or in a dedicated lay ministry of some type, we are all called to serve our Lord and other people with a keen interest in their soul. We heed the words of our Lord, so needed in our modern, materialistic world, “What will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his soul” (Matthew 26:16).
“Soul” is a word not used as much as when we were younger it seems. But all Christians are called to be “soul winners”.
Today’s text is speaking of spiritual leaders. “They keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account” (Hebrews 13:17b). The Amplified Version states the first part of the phrase as; “they are constantly keeping watch over your souls and guarding your spiritual welfare.” Although we believe this text is primarily speaking of the ministry of a pastor in a local church, it does remind us all of the interest we should have in souls. We are all called to witness of our faith in Christ and follow-up on those who are receptive to our message. Whatever type of service we are in for Christ, there is a sense that we are all “soul doctors” as we watch over souls, being vigilant in pointing people to the “Great Physician.”
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, it is not Your will that any should perish but that all would come to repentance. Yet You don’t force us to follow Your prescribed plan, but give us a free will to come willingly, lovingly, obediently, and gratefully as we come to realize that there is none like You. No one else could touch our hearts like You do, grant us peace that is eternal and prepare a home for us to last for all eternity. Help us in whatever role we may have in watching over souls. We don’t presume upon Your grace, but we do receive it by faith with thanksgiving. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
Yesterday morning I attended church at the Flagstaff Christian Fellowship. For many years I have benefited from the teachings of Pastor Steve Cole posted online. I was blessed by the service yesterday and the solid exposition of God’s Word. I had the opportunity to meet Pastor Cole and thank him for his service for Christ
“No Not One” Video The Martins “None else can heal all our soul’s diseases”
* For anyone who may be interested here is a pdf of the presentation I will be making at the chaplain’s conference.
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