Tuesday, March 07, 2006
Understanding of Christian Ministry
At its core, Christian ministry is relational. We are to genuinely care for those that we are trying to reach. Christian ministry is not about putting up the largest church facade in town in order to say that your membership roles are the biggest. Approaching people with a “bait and switch” method of evangelism as if their soul was some form of commodity to be bought and sold insinuates the only thing that matters is the increase of profit. Ministry is about something that can not be measured by human standards. It is a beautiful, messy giving of one’s self, a vulnerability to all situations for the sake of those searching for truth. Now that we have gained access to the divine we are not to hoard it but are to share it with the oppressed, down trodden, the widow, and the alien with the understanding that in the end love will rule the day. We are to believe that 1 Corinthians 13 is not just for reciting at weddings anymore, but that we are expected to live it out on a daily basis with believers and non-believers alike. We are to treat each other with the understanding that “Christ is all and in all.”
Community building should be a high priority of all ministries. C.S. Lewis would say that we as Christians are “eternal beings.” Under this understanding, life should be lived with an eternal viewpoint. We are to teach as the apostle Paul tells us to in Colossians. Compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, forgiveness, and above all else love should be the rule of the community. Ministers should make it a priority to create a place where members of our communities’ voices can be heard. Giving them permission to shape us while we are shaping them will remove many of the stigmas given to the titles of “Minister” or “Preacher.” Our voice should not be the only one heard. Questions should be asked more than answers given. Guidance should be given rather than direction. The moment we say we have it all figured out is the exact moment we open the door for temptation to beset us. Ultimately the foundation of all community should be built on the example and embodiment of Christ.