Coming face-to-face with the ramifications of ministry, I am led to wonder if I am really about God’s business or somebody else’s idea of what God wants. God desires to intimately know His people. Yet much of life and ministry seems to take up our days keeping us from spending time with God. You can know a lot about somebody and still not really know them on a personal level. That is kind of where I see much of the modern Church. God is not a figure in a history book. He is our ever-present, very real, extremely active, and righteously jealous Father and Lord.
God designed the family to be the primary mechanism for physical, emotional and spiritual structure and order in society. Yet much of modern ministry is spent separating out the family in little pieces. Instead of unite drifting family members, frequently our programs and ministries help encourage the divide to grow. Although this may not be the intention, it certainly can be the result. While segmented ministries have there place, so do family-focused ministries.
You may think, ‘How do real ministries encourage divisions within families?’ Well, many ministries do give people just enough of a ‘spiritual’ fix that they are deluded into thinking that everything is OK when the root problems still exist. Sometimes people have to reach the point of complete and total desperation before they will change. By continually throwing them life rafts, they are managing to stay afloat just enough that they don’t want real help. They don’t want anything that would require real change. A new facade and warm fuzzies will do. Thank you very much.
People tend to look for the easiest path. We don’t generally like pain. If getting together as a family to really deal with major issues is too hard, we’ll flock to anything that is a diversion, especially things with the Christian label. Afterall, if it is a Christian event, it has to be a good thing…right?
We may only stop and let God change our hearts when the pain of not changing gets so great that it becomes more severe than the pain caused by staying the same. Our natural inclination is not to change but to run and hide. Why do I have to change? Why can’t I just go and be ministered to by trained professionals?
It can be real easy to run from responsibilities because the kid’s church, youth group, Sunday service or other activity seems to be doing such a good job with our kids, spouses or even ourselves. Good ministry sometimes encourages Christians to be spiritually lazy in their personal and family lives and responsibilities. We find ways to justify our disobedience by thinking, ‘Well, the church is doing such a good job with training my kids, discipling my family, etc. I don’t want to get in the way of that.’ Hogwash!
God has set you in your family. God had gifted you. He will give you the revelation you need to be what He has called you to be. All you need is the faith of a child to accept it.
While I see that many of the things I do in ministry has made positives impacts, I wonder if sometimes I have been helping people keep afloat when really the best thing for them would be to go ahead and drown. It tends to be when we come to the end of ourselves that we allow God to truly rescue us.