In two previous articles, I have suggested some changes that we must make in how we “do church”. These include a renewed focus on Christ, Scripture, and others; a commitment to the world around us and a commitment to discipleship and involvement rather than consumerism.
Because I am a minister, and have spent my life preparing for ministry, studying ministry, practicing ministry, and teaching ministry, I conclude with four observations for my friends in ministry. I hope by sharing these in a more public forum that I can also help the church understand ministry. Such is essential, because we have developed a model of church where ministry is focused at the top of a pyramid in church leaders and paid staff. We have paid lip service to the thought that “every member is a minister,” but we have not practiced it well in most places.
What kind of minister will help us answer the challenges before us? What kind of minister will help the church be church? What kind of minister will help us “do church” effectively. While many answers can be given, I focus on four commitments from my own life.
- I want to be a minister that helps the church encounter and wrestle with Scripture as the very Word of God. The preacher must preach the word as it is, not as we have always thought it was. Bible study must be fresh and vibrant. We must study to learn, not just to reinforce what we have always thought.
- I want to be a minister that lets people see and experience Jesus in their everyday lives. This begins in my personal life when I see and experience Jesus daily. The church will not advance beyond its leaders. I must seek the spiritual life; I must model genuine surrender to the priorities and call of God in my life.
- I want to be a minister that understands and feels with the hurts of the world that God wants to save. I want to speak the language of our world and culture. I want to be a viable voice in a world of conflicting siren songs. I want Jesus to have a voice.
- I want to be a minister that releases Jesus to a waiting world. While we live in a secular world where many have rejected the church, there are many in this world who have not turned their back on Jesus. These are waiting for someone who can show them the reality of Jesus. I want to minister in that way, in a church that has caught the vision.