Monday, October 18, 2010

Organic Ministry

I have been wrestling with the topic of "ministry" for a while. I understand the need for church classes, training, courses, conferences and that sort of thing, but I feel like I am getting to the point where I am tired of being "equipped" and I just want to go be Jesus to people and "do" ministry.

Too often we take something simple and make it confusing and difficult. I have concern that if the church doesn't begin providing more opportunities for hands-on ministry where people can get into the world and give their lives away, then people will look elsewhere to serve. In fact, I think this is already happening. If I want to give money that I believe will impact people, I give to Kiva, not to the church. If I want to get involved in an organization that is really helping people, I work with To Write Love on Her Arms, not the church. What a shame. The church should be the greatest force of good in the world, but has instead become a club or a training center that equips but never sends.

I am greatly encouraged by a recent example of someone who decided to "do" ministry.

Jon Acuff started the popular blog, Stuff Christians Like and he now has one of the largest followings of any Christian website. A few months ago he decided to use his large readership to try and raise enough money to build a kindergarten in Vietnam and he ended up raising enough to build 2. After the success of that he decided to try and raise 10K in 24 hours that would go toward malaria nets in Uganda. He ended up raising $32,250. Because he wasn't satisfied with ordinary there are thousands of lives in Vietnam and Uganda that are being impacted. It's that simple. There was no training, no meetings, no ministry plan. Just someone who decided to use what he had to impact the world.

I am being greatly challenged with this in my own life. How can I do more? Who can I help? How can ministry become more organic and natural and less planned and processed?

1 comment:

  1. I agree that the Church could step it up in being a greater force of good in the world, but I wouldn't say the Church "never sends." Even the teeny-tiny denomination Sherri and I grew up in sends people by the hundreds every year to both local and international crises (Haiti, flooding in Mississippi, etc.), and the denomination I'm a part of now is constantly raising awareness for various needs around the world and sending aid to help with getting clean water, clothes, and food to people without them.

    As far as what we can each do individually, we can take Jon Acuff's lead and use what we have to impact the world...which most likely means investing ourselves in where we are (since not all of us have world-wide fame and connections to get something huge done). We can partner with already existing organizations like our local homeless shelters and crisis pregnancy centers to provide support in the way of time, money, and resources. We can build relationships with people who are in need and actively show them the love of Christ. There's nothing more organic than that.