Monday, January 14, 2013

I’ve been mulling over the struggle between needing church ministry programs to facilitate the needs of the body/community and programming in excess to the point of error for quite some time.  I am truly torn because while as a Youth Pastor I definitely see the value of programs, I also fear that at times we as the Church in America can very easily swing into the realm of programming the Gospel to death.  

What I mean is this: while programmed/organized outreach opportunities are hugely important, even necessary for a Great Commission obeying church body, over-reliance on such programmed events can create a mindset in which the body views such events as the only opportunity to share the gospel.  

Let us not fall into such a mindset where we rely on the occasional scheduled event to expose our non-believing friends/family to the incredible beauty of the Gospel!!!  If we observe the life and ministry of Jesus we see a Gospel centered lifestyle focused primarily on presenting the Gospel message through the context of relationship.  I love the example of the woman at the well in John chapter four.  After encountering her savior face to face and embracing her absolute need for the grace that only Christ can provide, she goes into her town and testifies of the transformation that Jesus had brought about in her.  Her testimony causes many to believe.  

The same is true of us today, our testimonies carry incredible weight and significance for those who are lost.  May we not forget or neglect the amazing position that God has placed us in as His followers!  We are literally His ambassadors on this earth to the unbelieving world.  Our mission has been handed to us from our Lord, to go and make disciples, proclaiming the message of His salvation.  How do we do that?  By organizing events?  Sometimes yes, absolutely.  But I would say most importantly, by seizing every relational opportunity that we are given to explain the miraculous transformation that Christ generated in our souls, that He brought us out of death within our transgressions and transferred us into the Kingdom of His marvelous light!!!  With family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, people we are stuck waiting at a cross walk with.  The list of relationally based opportunities are endless.  Don’t limit your Gospel effectiveness to “hey come to [fill in random church event here]” hoping that they might hear the Gospel there.  We are ALL ambassadors of our Savior.  Take your job description seriously.  Proclaim your King’s glorious message of reconciliation!!! 

by Matt Gould