This morning, thinking about what it means to minister, I remembered a thought that came to me eight years ago. I was struggling with the measures we use for outreach activities in the church. We count commitments. The argument goes something like this: “We count people because every person counts.” It sounds like a great bumper sticker slogan, but if that’s what ministry is about, I reasoned, than Christ commissions salesmen. Back then, I refused to think of myself as God’s salvation huckster. I still find the idea repulsive.
My focus must be on letting God have His way in me rather than trying to push my way on others. I’ve seen the church commercial with it’s cheap grace: “You can have all this for a quick, repentant prayer and no payments for the rest of eternity! But wait, there’s more! Act now and receive quality Sunday morning programming for your entire family!”
That’s not what I need, and it’s far from what I desire. I want to meet God. I want to know Him. I want to follow Him. I want to die to self and live in Him so that I might have life and have it to the fullest. In turn, I hope that others will glimpse Christ alive in me and begin to recognize their own hunger for what is real rather than that which is easy or cheap.
“The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be.” John 12:25, 26
I was struggling with the measures we use for outreach activities in the church.