Thoughts on ministry

Wow, It is almost February. It seems like it is harder to find time as the days go by. I’m reminded of staying clean and close to God when life gets busy.

I am finding more and more in ministry that being humble before God and listening to His voice, far exceeds reading a book on ministry, reading a blog, going to another conference, etc…

The power of God in us is what makes us relevant, it helps us see people as God sees them. Students that I’ve built relationships over the past 4 years of student ministry do not want me to dress or look just like them (some of these are in college or Iraq). They are looking for someone to model authenticity in their lives.

In Marv Penner’s article on “Redefining relevance” He says this:

“The students I serve are far more responsive to my willingness to listen to what is going on in their lives than in my franticness to try to keep up with what is going on in their world.

It frustrates me that authors have books today that have the word “relational” in the title. Isn’t that what Jesus did? I’m not saying it is wrong, I love books on relational ministry, but to me it is sad we have to teach it to church leaders?!

Is it that the church has moved too far into new fads/programs rather than making disciples? (I’d appreciate your thoughts on that question).

Jesus spent quality time with the 12 disciples and mentored 3. Jesus was all about relationships.

He spent time with the multitudes, but a majority of it was with his followers.

Building relationships is the key, but is that it?

I’ve been searching the scriptures on how Jesus asked questions to His disciples. One of my favorite passages is John 21:15-19.

After they ate breakfast, Jesus asked Peter,

“Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” Peter responded, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” Jesus responded, “Feed my lambs.”

Jesus kept going asking him two more times. Jesus’ use of the word “love,” was used for “total commitment.” Peter responded with the love that he shared for Jesus, not his total commitment. (Peter has just denied Jesus 3 times prior).

I’m sure Peter was feeling the shame from his denial of Christ. Jesus’ relationship with Peter was not a superficial, make-each-other-feel-good-at-all-times, relationship.

Jesus called for his commitment above all else.

Jesus showed Peter his unconditional love and challenged him to “tend my lambs.” This phrase is synonymous of today’s purpose of ministry leaders to teach the Word of God.

Acts 1-12 reveals Peter’s obedience to Jesus’ command to “feed my sheep.”

Ministry is relationships. It is not just about relationships.

I love how Jesus said in verse 19, “Follow Me.” Following Christ must be our all-consuming passion and nothing must detract us from it


2 responses to “Thoughts on ministry

  1. you should tell people when it’s your birthday! We could have embarrassed you really well. Anyway. Happy Belated Birthday!

  2. Josh,
    My favorite question Jesus asked is the one in John 6. After some heavy duty teaching from Christ the Bible says, “Many of his disciples followed him no more.” They just quit. Walked away. And not Pharisees but the bIble says ” His disciples.” What I love is that Jesus didn’t go running after them. He didn’t go out chasing them down, trying to console them, or prop them up so they would come back. He just let ’em go. What’s His response? He turns to his 12 disicples; the ones closest to him; the ones that we could say were probably the more spiritual ones of his followers and asked them, “Will you also go away?” Wow! What a shot in the gut! Poor Peter. He seemed sold out. He had pretty much done everything Christ had asked of him, and now Jesus turns to him and says, “Are you going to quit too?” Jesus was hard-core! I agree with you that building relationships is key, it is vital. But real relationships are built through discipleship. I love your line that ministry is realtionships not just about relationships. Something has to comne out of the relationship. Something like… I don’t know…obedience? Commitment? ANyways, good stuff. Keep up the good work and happy birthday.

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