Pastor's Blog

Here is how I think many evangelicals perceive “the ministry of the church”.

People need to escape hell by hearing and believing the gospel message.
The church exists to SAY the “message”.  Once the church SAYS the message, it has done its job.

If all it takes is “saying a message”, why not put up a billboard or write the words on a placard and sit in some public place where the words can be seen?

Ministry is more than throwing the words at people.  Ministry is about helping them catch the truth.

It’s about more than hearing; it’s about listening.  And being drawn to listen – to want to listen.

If you want people to listen, you don’t just speak.  You build connection with them.

When you come to church, the first steps of real ministry must be carried out before any song is sung or any message is spoken.  Ministry begins with people feeling that they belong.

When you show up on a Sunday God providentially puts people in front of you.  Some you know, and some you don’t.  Are you not curious as to why that person is there at that particular service?  Are you not curious as to why, in God’s providence, you noticed that they were there?

Did God providentially move your eyes in their direction so you can ignore them – or were you moved to notice them for a reason?

Are you waiting for a miracle?  Read the providence of God and act!

You don’t have to impress them with your theological knowledge or spirituality.  Just have enough interest to say something like, “Hi, I’m ___________.  I don’t know if I’ve ever seen you here before.  What’s your name?”

Be friendly.  Be a friend.  Or at least an acquaintance.

Maybe you’ll discover where they live and work, why they came to church, what they’re looking for, what’s burdening their soul.
Or maybe you won’t find out much beyond their name.
Most importantly, you have begun something – a connection that, at the very least says, “I’m glad you’re here and I want you to feel that you belong.”

We all need to belong somewhere.  It is not good to be alone.  Maybe the feeling you generate will make them comfortable enough, not just to hear, but to listen and receive whatever God wants to give them – whether from a song or a message or a conversation with someone in the foyer. 

Or maybe all God wanted to give them that day was the feeling that they could belong.

This is where the rubber meets the road, where “the ministry” begins.
If ministry never gets to this step, nothing more will take place.

This doesn’t require an advanced degree in theology. 
Just a little love for people and a few moments of your time.
And those few moments may alter an entire life.
Maybe their life.  Maybe yours.

 

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