Stephanie Edge is our guest blogger today. What a challenge she gives each of us as leaders of women. Stephanie Edge is the Director of Women’s Ministry, Poplar Heights Baptist Church, Jackson, TN and a Lifeway Ministry Multiplier. She is an Associate Professor at Union University in Jackson, TN. Stephanie graduated from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary with a Masters of Divinity. She also received an Advanced Women’s Ministry Certificate as well as completed a Th.M. from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. She is currently pursuing a doctorate in Christian Education. She has a passion for God’s Word and enjoys ministering to women.
You will be like me as you read this post from guest blogger, Stephanie Edge, and say AMEN to this eternal lesson she shares with us today…
"I will never forget one of the first lessons I learned in ministry: He is More than Enough!
The amazing thing about God’s principles is that they are eternal. The same ministry lesson I learned years ago still is applicable for today and I am reminded of it often. (Ps. 119:160, NIV)
Fifteen years ago, seven college students and I were invited to do a lock-in for youth at a local area church. The campus college ministry was starting anew and the students who were willing to tackle this opportunity were fresh out of their youth programs, but eager to serve and to make a difference. We literally stepped out in faith and prayer as our combined ministry experiences and abilities were minimal. The pastor of the youth came to speak to the college students the week prior to the lock-in. His message was timely and still resonates with me today. It was the story of the feeding of the 5,000. This miracle was actually recorded in all four gospels. (Mt. 14:17-21, Mk. 6:35-44, Lk. 9:13-17, Jn. 6:6-13)
The story is rather simple, but the results were extraordinary. Jesus, once again having compassion on the crowds, was found teaching and healing those in need. The disciples who had witnessed what Jesus had said and done approached Him with a very practical need. It was getting late and the people would need something to eat. However, Jesus responded shockingly – “You give them something to eat.” (Mt. 14:16) After a brief reality check, the disciples answered, “But we only have five loaves and two fish here.” (Mt. 14:17) The disciples surveyed their assets and were quick to acknowledge their lack.
However, they failed to consider Christ’s sufficiency. “Bring them here to Me,” He said. (Mt. 14:18) Jesus then took what they had (five loaves and two fish), blessed and broke them. He gave portions to the disciples who then served the crowd. The story concludes. “Everyone ate and was filled. Then they picked up 12 baskets full of leftover pieces! Now those who ate were about 5,000 men, besides women and children.” (Mt. 14:20-21)
The miracle of the feeding of the 5,000 was not to be limited to that particular occasion, but rather serves as an eternal ministry principle. You see, I witnessed the exact same type of miracle with those college students as we stepped out in faith to minister. Our stories were parallel. Just as Jesus took the little the disciples had, blessed it, and it became more than enough, we presented ourselves before Him and offered all that we had, mainly enthusiasm, and it was more than enough to meet the need at hand.
I have continued to witness Christ’s sufficiency as ministry opportunities have transitioned from youth and college students to women. I am still experiencing the same miracle today that was demonstrated in the feeding of the 5,000. We, as leaders, continually come before Him offering all that we have and are. Jesus takes that offering, although meager, raises it to the Father and blesses it, and it is more than enough. Actually, He is More than Enough!"
For further reflection, ponder these verses:
Jn. 15:5 – “I am the vine, you are the branches. The one who remains in Me and I in him produces much fruit, because you can do nothing without Me.”
Eph. 3:20 – “Now to Him who is able to do above and beyond all that we ask or think—according to the power that works in you—to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”
Other Helpful resources: