This year all of the messages at the Shindig shared a common theme—following Jesus. We challenged you to be active in reaching the world for Christ and to walk uprightly in your home, church, marriage, and wherever God has put you. To put it succinctly, “…let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us” (Hebrews 12:1).
As we walked around and talked with you we heard another theme. It was around every table; it was on the porches as we sat talking in the rocking chairs; it was in the halls, on the fields, and around the dinner table. It was loud, it was clear, and it had many voices all saying the same thing, “This cannot be the last Shindig!” The reasons varied from person to person, but the message did not. I heard from couples that had met at previous shindigs saying, “We would never have met if it were not for the Shindig!” I was told by moms that this was the best time of fellowship they have all year. I heard from dads that had been delivered from sin and built up in the faith from the teaching. Over and over I heard how families were stronger, marriages were better, and lifelong friendships were forged. But, by far, my favorite was the young men and women who came to me to tell me that they had committed their lives to serving God faithfully for the rest of their days. How can we say no to that? So I have spent the last few weeks praying and seeking God’s face as to how we should move forward with a new Shindig. I believe God is in it, so my wife and I will be pursuing it. We will have some challenges to overcome this year, but I have had some very capable people offering to help. This is our prayer list:

  • The several months’ preparation has grown to be too taxing on Mom and Dad, so we will not have the financial or logistical support of NGJ. Please pray that we will have wisdom in choosing how we structure and organize to best overcome these challenges.
  • As we pick volunteer staff, we need wisdom to choose godly men and women who will place Christ at the center of everything.
  • We need godly wisdom to choose a location that fits the ministry to which God has called us.

I know I am slow and methodical in making decisions on something like this; it is not because I am not paying attention. The story of Jehoshaphat in 2 Chronicles 18–20 is very impacting to my life. In 2 Chronicles 18:3, Jehoshaphat, being very blessed of God, set about to do something in his own way and in his own time with his own people, but it was not God’s way.
In chapter 20 his attitude had changed; the Bible says in verse 18, “And Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground: and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem fell before the LORD, worshipping the LORD.” This is my commitment to my LORD and my God: Your way, your time, your people. “Behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters, and as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress; so our eyes wait upon the LORD our God, until that he have mercy upon us” (Psalm 123:2). This is his commitment to me: “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31).
So, yes, we are going to do another Shindig, and we do need your input, so let’s talk, let’s muse, but most of all let us, “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil” (Proverbs 3:5–7).

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