Pastor Sam Crosby
San Saba’s First Baptist Church
August 1, 2017
I spent last week on Lake Travis at pre-teen camp with 45 kids from our church. It has been some time since I slept on a bunk in a dorm, played archery games, ate camp food and helped corral kids from event to event. Truthfully, it was a great week in which I probably received a bigger blessing than the kids. The worship times, Bible studies and one on one conversations were inspiring. But watching God move in the hearts of the kids was thrilling.
A special activity offered by Highland Lakes Baptist Camp is a boating event involving a banana boat. The inflatable banana can seat about eight people and is pulled behind a motorboat. The kids (and adults) hold on tight as the banana bounces on the waves of the lake. It is nearly guaranteed that someone will fall off.
As the spotter, I sit in the motorboat and holler when someone falls. The driver pulls the banana back around to the swimmer for the remount. Watching people remount is nearly as fun as watching them fall off. It is difficult to climb out of the water and pull yourself back up on a slick inflatable.
The experienced driver, though, guides the group through specific instructions on how to raise the fallen. “Hold on to his leg,” he yells, “and don’t let go.” The swimmer puts one leg up on the float and several kids grab it. The swimmer then begins to pull himself up with several more kids pulling on his life jacket. I said to the driver, “This isn’t just recreation, its team building. Everyone has to work in unison, follow instructions, and help the fallen before you can move on.” He nods and says, “Exactly.”
There is a lesson here for the church. Life is rough. Sometimes it is hard to hold on. Spiritually speaking, people are falling away from God all the time. How many of us know someone who used to be actively involved in the church, outspoken about their faith, and excited about the Bible, but now seems to have little interest in the things of God? Circumstances and pressures of life distracted their focus from Jesus and they simply drifted away. There are many believers who have lost their passion. All of us, in fact, go through that stage at some point in life.
People need help to regain their focus and ignite their spiritual fires. It isn’t right just to let them drift – we need to help them up. Paul instructed the church, “So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing” (I Thessalonians 5:11, NLT). Ask the Lord to give you a name of someone to encourage today. Ask Him for a divine appointment in which you can lift a believer up. Write a note. Send a text. Reach out a hand. Pull somebody up.