Casting the nets again!
My name is Pastor Doug Givan and I attended Men’s Via de Cristo #22 in North Webster, Indiana in 1995, where I sat at the table of John. Today, I am writing this devotional as a substitute for Pastor Sue Beall, NSD. (Raucous applause).
Recently, a member of my congregation and I were having conversation after church. I told him that I was preparing to serve on a Via de Cristo upcoming weekend. He had attended many, many years ago and had not been on a team in years.
He exclaimed “Via de Cristo, hasn’t that about run its course?”
I was taken aback by his response, but then told him, “No, not yet, not along as I’m alive!”
I know not every person has the “mountain top” experience, but I sure did on my weekend. I have always had this VdC saying, “I love the Lord, and I love the Via de Cristo.”
So how about you friend, in your setting in the world. Has your VDC “run its course?” I’ve come to understand that many of our movements are struggling to come back from the pandemic and we are always short of volunteers to serve on team and pilgrims to attend.
Just like Peter and his fellow fishermen in John 21: 1-19, we are easily frustrated. We aren’t catching any “fish”. And then comes Jesus, standing on the shoreline of our Ultreya’s and saying, “Children, you have no fish, have you?” (John 21:5).
And we answer the same as the fishermen did “No.”
So, Jesus then says, “Cast the net to the right side of the boat…” and then they catch so many fish they can’t even haul them into shore!
To me, for all of us in Via de Cristo, we need the fresh, Risen Spirit of Jesus to dust off our Pilgrims Guides and stir us up to go forward. We can’t always do the same things we used to do in our movement. God is calling us to do a “new thing” (Isaiah 43) and I ask you to renew your hearts with me this very day.
Our Via de Cristo first began holding weekends in 1972, so this year we are 50 years old!
For over 50 years God has been using our movement to bring people to Jesus! The only way that can ever end is when Jesus returns. Meanwhile, let’s make it happen for Jesus!
What does casting nets to the right side of the boat mean for you first, your family, and then for your Secretariat and church? When was the last time you served on team? When was the last time you sponsored someone and brought a friend to the weekend?
We have gotten distracted by life, by the pandemic issues. We won’t go back to doing things the same way, so I ask, what is the NEW THING God is doing in your own backyard?
Jesus hasn’t stopped loving the world, calling people to come and learn about Him and grow in faith. And we cannot not stop and cease to exist. We can’t allow it because Jesus is alive! We need to Spring Clean our movement, if some things need to be donated, donate(pun intended). If we need to find fresh ways of recruiting, or outreach to churches we will go forth and make it happen.
We can do this. We must cast our nets, as Jesus calls us to do, so we can catch new fish! We want to catch new ways of doing things, to stir it up, try different ways of getting there and make some things happen.
Jesus Christ has not run His course and is not “finished.” In fact, when he was slaughtered on the Cross Jesus said His life was finished. But the ministry of God among us started that first Easter morning. And now, Every Morning is Easter Morning! God is doing a new thing as the Spirit is breathed out upon us at Pentecost!
In many parts of our country, God is busy renewing the face of the earth. As new life blossoms in Spring fresh air all around us, may God help us ‘cast to the right side” and renew our movement. The Via de Cristo has not run its course, Jesus is Alive! He is Risen and so can we my brother and sisters in this beloved movement!
God loves you and so do I!
Pastor Doug Givan
- How can you outreach to others in the movement and discuss local possibilities for renewal? Have you tried a Survey Monkey (on line resource for surveying members).
- Has your Secretariat ever had a Renewal Weekend? Are you offering opportunities to let 4th day folks come back and make another weekend as renewal?
- Are there ways you, or those you know on the Secretariat, can get delegates down to Texas for the NLS, July 21-24 this year?
This week’s devotional is from Pastor Doug Givan. He writes today in support of Pastor Sue Beall, NSD, who is recovering from back surgery. (Sending prayers for Pastor Sue.)
Pastor Doug Givan first attended Indiana-Kentucky Men’s Weekend #22 in 1995. He entered Trinity Lutheran Seminary, Columbus, Ohio in the fall of 1996, graduating in 2000 with a Master of Divinity. He was Ordained in 2000, served two churches and worked several years as a Board-Certified Staff Chaplain for a large Catholic Hospital in Indianapolis. In 2020, Pastor Doug was called to serve 2 congregations in a Shared Ministry agreement on the west side of Indianapolis. He is currently the Spiritual Director of the INKY VdC Secretariat, and served as National Spiritual Director from 2008-2012.
Eric is our current Webmaster and works on the NLS Communications Team. Raised in Judaism, he found Christ and the New Testament at age 16 in a Southern Baptist Church. He searched many denominations for the real church, only to find the Holy Spirit is present in all of them. He's worked for One for Israel, a group of native Israeli believers who are sharing the gospel in the holy land in Hebrew and is part of the only Hebrew speaking seminary in Israel.