Thursday, June 12, 2008


Instead of referring to our Christian activities as "Ministries" I was wondering why we don't just call it "Loving People"?

So, instead of saying, "Join our Homeless Ministry" why don't we start saying, "Come and love homeless people with us". Instead trying to get people to volunteer for "Senior Home Ministry" we could just ask them if they'd like to be part of the team that goes and loves our friends at the Senior home for an hour each week?

I know, I know, it's a lot more wordy than the saying "Ministry" or "Outreach" but if we can think of everything we do as followers of Jesus as just "Loving People" it might come across less like a job we "have to do" and more like something we can't help but do because it's who we are.

Is that alright with you?



the xstructure said...

it's alright with me brotha. ;) x

Seth said...

I try to avoid using the words 'ministry' and 'outreach.' For one thing, then tend to have a negative connotation to non-Christians. For Christians, the words often mean something super-spiritual, as if we're doing something special for God and our community if the word 'ministry' is attached. So, whether loving people, serving people, or something similar, I think it's more meaningful.

Brent said...

There are certain Christian phrases that I have slowly come to despise. One of them is the word ministry (another is revival). You've really hit the nail on the head when you said, "more like something we can't help but do because it's who we are."

If God's spirit can truly create in us his nature - the fruit of the Spirit, then we will begin to learn how to truly love other people. All kinds of actions can flow out of that love.

In my experience it is possible to be actively engaged in "ministry" from a whole host of motives that have little to do with the people we are "ministering" to. Our need to feel important, to be noticed, to be needed, to manage guilt or meet an obligation, and to be a part of something would all qualify. Love need not have anything to do with it. Neither does what the other person actually needs.

Another problem is that once we believe God has given us a particular ministry we begin to focus all our energy on that, and can easily miss the opportunities God places right in front of us that does not fit into the box of our ministry. It is all too easy to walk by the injured man on the road to Jericho because we are too busy doing our ministry.

That said, Paul did talk about his ministry to the gentiles so I can't get too rigid in my dislike of the term. But if I could just be transformed into his image, and if kind and compassionate actions could flow naturally and effortlessly from God's character within me without any premeditation on my part, then that would really be something.