Jesus went His whole earthly existence without sinning.
Not only is that impressive in its own rights, but the fact that He did this while living among the religious leaders makes it a miracle!
Now, I’m going to try REALLY hard not to be judgmental here. But the truth is, I’m not Jesus.
Recently my husband was asked why we do what we do, talking about our bicycle organization Involved Cycles. The specific question surrounded the fact that we do it all for free, without pay. Why on earth would be do that?
Well, God never said that our calling should or would be our income source. Just because we aren’t getting paid, just because we don’t always know how we are going to make ends meet, doesn’t mean that we don’t move forward with our calling.
For many people, money is a stumbling block to ministry. They do not believe they can minister until they have enough money to sustain themselves.
OOOORRRR, they have money, blow it on a TON of fancy special crazy tools, equipment, buildings and more and feel that the ministry should come to them.
Recently I saw a small church put together a video for a sermon series. Now, we all like funny little videos, but when several hours are put into prepping, filming and editing those videos, I start to cringe. Somehow the time and money spent on these trivial things is seen as ministry, while that same time and money could be spent actually doing hands on ministry in the community.
I personally believe that Jesus wants us all to get our hands dirty. Even Jesus was a laborer!
He didn’t try to appease the wealthy around Him by telling them to keep their fancy jobs, work long hours, give the church your money and it’s the same as real ministry.
When Jesus tried to invite the wealthy man to be one of His disciples, the requirement was clear; forget all the power, wealth and lifestyle, just follow me.
Easier said than done in Middle America. In Middle America we like things clean and streamlined. Everything must fit into orderly schedules. Even our ministry.
Church is at a regularly scheduled time, discipleship at a regularly scheduled time, ministry at a regularly scheduled time, we deposit our tithes and offerings weekly, on schedule.
When all the while, our communities are crying out for real love and ministry.
The schizophrenic who believes that the local medical clinic has a secret mafia who conspired to kill Robin Williams (a real person I’ve met) is not going to come to your Men’s Breakfast to listen to you talk about your Promise Keeper (going old school) Bible study. He may NEVER cross the threshold of your church (thank goodness since ever stuffy elder would gasp in disgust at his appearance and rambling).
The woman who has lost 7 children (another person I’ve met) to the Child Protection System due to addiction and who is trying to figure out how to move forward in life, if at all, is not going to attend your Mother’s Brunch featuring frilly dresses and fruit parfaits.
The child who has stolen enough to be charged with grand larceny (checking pocket for phone now…) and will likely steal from the church when he has the opportunity is not looking to sit in front of a puppet show about Noah’s Ark.
These are real people. THEY are the ones who Jesus wants us to minister too.
Yes, Middle America needs ministering. They are people too. But I’m pretty sure that 99% of the American churches, have them covered.
Let’s stop spending our money on frivolous entertainment, pretty decorations, fancy equipment and gorgeous buildings.
Jesus doesn’t need us to make Him relevant. His message is what makes Him relevant.
If we can’t trust that people will be drawn to Him by His message alone, then why are we even bothering with any of this?
How About You?
Who do you know that falls through the cracks of the Middle American Christian Church?
Much love, I’m not a hater,