What’s success? As a guardian, pastor, professor, and present president of Baptist Houses, I’ve wanted success for my kids, church members, college students, and group members. However what’s success? As I write this, the 2022-23 Deer Season in Missouri is coming to an in depth. Opening day was September 15. By one measure – filling a tag – my opening day was a failure, as my time within the subject yielded no meat for the desk. By the measures that rely – relationships, discipleship, and fellowship – opening day 2022 was a convincing success, for on that day the Arcadia Valley campus hosted the inaugural Baptist Houses Senior Deer Hunt in partnership with the Nationwide Deer Affiliation. In October, the Ozark campus hosted their senior deer hunt – an occasion coated by the movie crews of Bass Professional Outlets. Whereas the harvest outcomes had been the identical as Arcadia Valley, the enjoyment of mentoring a 93-year-old resident is a reminiscence I’ll cherish for years to return. Our ultimate senior hunt was hosted by the Ashland campus, Dec. 27-28. As with the opposite hunts, a number of deer had been sighted, however no tags had been stuffed.
The agenda for these occasions included coaching in deer conduct and biology, hunter ethics, goal observe and subject time with skilled mentors. I ought to point out that each resident was capable of shoot bullseyes constantly! And whereas all members, be the hunters, volunteers, or workers, loved fantastic meals that includes scrumptious venison, no tags had been stuffed. Given every occasion concerned two days within the subject, it may very well be argued the senior hunts had been a failure. However to make use of harvest alone because the measure of success is unwise and unbiblical.
In 1 Corinthians 3:6, Paul writes, “I planted, Apollos watered, however God gave the expansion.” Earlier, the author of Ecclesiastes 3 reminds us that God has “…an appointed time for every part. There’s a time for each matter below heaven. A time to provide delivery and a time to die; A time to plant and a time to uproot what’s planted.”
The senior deer hunts won’t have been a season of harvest, however they had been successful primarily based on the seeds of Christian pleasure and fellowship that had been planted. Whereas the advantages of those occasions had been many, 4 referring to the Baptist Houses mission to “joyfully serve in a Christlike method by educating, advocating, and caring for the ageing” had been clearly realized.
1. You’re by no means too outdated for fellowship and friendships. The friendships fashioned by residents, neighbors, church buildings, volunteers, Baptist Houses workers and the NDA management enriched many lives.
2. Time with the Creator in His creation is time effectively spent. Because the psalmist wrote, “The heavens are telling the glory of God; and the firmament proclaims his handiwork from him.”
3. You’re by no means too outdated to strive new meals. A number of preconceived assumptions had been challenged – equivalent to “venison tastes gamey.” Residents, volunteers, and workers loved venison-based sliders, medallions, lasagna, chili, roast, and sausage.
4. You’re by no means too outdated to study one thing new. Contributors realized such issues equivalent to blue denims look florescent to deer, deer have a way of odor that’s keener than canine, and deer are crepuscular, which means they’re most energetic at daybreak and twilight.
Church and people who measure success solely by the harvest fail to acknowledge the enjoyment of planting and cultivating the seeds. That’s the reason Baptist Houses residents, volunteers and workers are already anticipating subsequent seasons Senior Deer Hunt. And between every now and then our neighbors and residents shall be working in the direction of a profitable harvest from the campus gardens, collaborating in mission tasks, and having fun with a calendar that features every day alternatives for discipleship and religious progress. Typically success is not only within the harvest.