- Andy Hynes is a PhD candidate at Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary. Follow him @ABHYNES on Twitter. He also seems to be fairly competent as a predictor of sporting outcomes, having won our recent bracket challenge!
Whether we realize it or not we have a ministry mentality. What I mean is, we all have ideas about the purposes of ministry. How we view the purpose of ministry will determine our approach. A lot of the mentality today is the need to exhaust all of our efforts to “attract” people with events and ideas.
We plan and seek new ways to invite or convince the lost they need to come check us out. We plan all sorts of fairs, shows, and extravaganzas. By providing what may appear to be a reason for them to visit, we think that we are “ministering” to the people. Is this encroaching worldliness upon the church? Why do we think we need gimmicks and events to get people to come to our church? We demonstrate the idea that we are being creative. I wonder if we are just entertaining people.
Where do we see in Scripture the need to create grand events to “draw” people to our facility? I think we actually see the direct opposite, GOING out to them. After all, that is a component of the making of disciples, “as you are going!” As we are going, then we have the opportunity to meet needs for others, including the lost, for the Kingdom. It is almost like we think there is something special about them coming to our “facilities.”
What is the Motive?
What is the motive behind all the events? Is there a genuine attempt to do Gospel centered things with the events? Or is it more that we are having an event for events’ sake? Do we think that in some small way our event is going to be the means to someone coming to Christ?
The work of drawing people to the Father through Christ is the responsibility of the Holy Spirit. He is the agent the Father uses to fulfill that role. Our part consists of being open and available to be used as a vessel. A vessel will never tell the user what to do, but in fact will do whatever the owner decides. That representation should exemplify us each day.
As we are the vessels, God’s Word is the instrument. That instrument is His special revelation of God. That special revelation is necessary for an individual to respond to Christ. It is the Word that the Holy Spirit uses to convict the hearts of the unregenerate to bring them to Christ.
Let’s allow these characteristics to be our ministry mentality:
1. Devotion to the Word – in all the things we do, let God’s Word be the driving force.
Every event, class, and opportunity must be saturated with the WORD. Even the smallest or simplest of things must be centered around God’s Word. If the Word cannot be the center, then it is pointless.
2. Prayer – EVERYTHING must be bathed in prayer
What element of prayer can be given or directed toward the event? Is there prayer in the preparatory planning? I wonder if we have substituted planning for prayer. We have done a great job planning an event, but spent little time praying about or over the event.
3. Faithfulness to God’s resources
What about the extravagant numbers of dollars spent on those events? What if that money was spent pouring into disciple making? We must learn to be faithful stewards of the monies we have been entrusted with by God.
4. Trust that God will guide
If we will be honest and allow ourselves and our churches to be guided by the Lord, then we can have confidence that our ministry mentality is Christ directed. We have the privilege of being empty vessels. We don’t have to conjure up some event to entice folks to come, but allow God to do His work.
Ultimately, if we do what we do to bring glory to Christ, then we can be satisfied. If Christ is the focus of it all and He is magnified, then we can have confidence. I only ask that we consider and evaluate the what and why of what we do. May Christ have the preeminence in all things!