Pastor’s Corner: Jason Bybee, Mayfair Church of Christ
Jason Bybee: Preaching Minister
Mayfair Church of Christ
Tell us about yourself:
God’s Story has profoundly shaped my life. My parents met at a small church in Nashville in the 1960s and married shortly thereafter. My very existence is a testimony to the prayer life of my mother, who was told by doctors that she could not conceive. But she believed in a God who is capable of immeasurably more than we could even ask or imagine! Needless to say, I grew up in a Christian home with a deep appreciation for the lordship of Jesus.
I met my wife, Sunny, at the Christian high school we attended. We’ve been married for 15 years and we have three children that God allows us to disciple. And I’m privileged to spend my life doing what I love: preaching Jesus and loving others. Like the Psalmist, I have reason to Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever!
What motivates you to do what you do?
Paul’s language in 2 Cor. 5 really resonates with me when he says the love of Christ compels me. Other translations say the love of Christ controls me or urges me on. And I love that! Years ago, Jesus laid claim to my heart and He has loved me well. I want to operate out of that loving impulse that I first recognized in Him. I want Christ’s love to be the compelling, motivating impetus in my life. I believe that when the love of Jesus permeates our hearts, we have no choice but to act in loving, redemptive ways.
What is God speaking to you right now?
God has recently convicted me to pray more faithfully than ever before. Not long ago, I came to a sobering realization: I was “too busy” to pray. My life was filled with all kinds of “important” things and prayer was too easily moved over to the “I’ll do that if I have time” category. God convicted me with this cold, hard truth: if I really believed in prayer, I’d make more time for it.
So I’ve recently asked our elders to change my job description to include a required period of prayer every day. In the Gospels, you see Jesus withdrawing to desolate, lonely places to commune with the Father (Luke 5:16). So I’ve been seeking greater discipline in my prayer life. And I’m experiencing the truth Jesus spoke of in John 15 when He said, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.” In this season, I’m learning to let the Gardener tend to my soul.
What does unity in our city mean to you?
My imagination is captured by the story of Jonah. We all know about his prayer from inside the great fish, but sometimes we lose sight of God’s mission for Jonah to preach against the wickedness of Nineveh. Reeking of fish vomit, Jonah preaches a terse message: “Forty more days and Nineveh will be overturned.” But remarkably, the citizens of Nineveh repent by renouncing their evil and violence. The king issues a decree: not only are all citizens to fast and wear sackcloth but the same conditions must be applied to the animals of the city, too. Picture it: dogs and cats and livestock…trotting around the city in sackcloth!
For a moment in time, all 120,00 citizens of Nineveh were united in a penitent spirit before the Lord. To me, unity in our city means believing that, with God, such a scene is possible again. It means believing that the God whose heart beat for Nineveh also beats for Huntsville. And it means maintaining the hope, however preposterous, that even dogs will wear sackcloth again someday!
Please pray for our city.
We give thanks to you, O God, for you are good; your love endures forever. May your Kingdom come, your will be done, on earth and in Huntsville just as surely as it is in heaven. Embolden your people to walk in a manner worthy of the Good News. May we be salt and light in this city. May we speak the truth in love. And may we follow the example of Jesus, the One who came full of grace and truth. In Jesus, Amen.