Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Qu'est-ce que le point?

I randomly start thinking about stuff sometimes. I'm not sure that I'm entirely normal. I lean toward thinking not. Anyway, I was thinking yesterday about what the point of ministry is supposed to be.

What's the point of ministering to someone? I mean, if you're a Christian, you're called to minister to people in one regard or another. That's one of the things I like about Christianity. I like the concept of helping hurting people. It's what Jesus did. But I think sometimes that we think the only point of ministering to people is to convert them to Christianity. If they blow us off, we write them off. Is that the right way to think about it?

I'm not so sure.

I think a lot of Christians only minister through church-sponsored stuff. Church sponsored stuff is important too, don't get me wrong. But there doesn't seem to be any push (at least in my circles) to get outside of the bubble and help people who are less likely to be receptive to Christianity. We don't seem to care so much about feeding hungry, stinky, drunk, or "SINFUL" folks in our own communities--whether they're likely to come to Christ or not. If they don't, aren't we still obligated to minister to them? To "hold our hands over their wounds" (that's a quote from Donald Miller) and provide comfort in whatever way we can? Shouldn't every human being do that, regardless of religious affiliation?

It just doesn't seem like a "no strings attached" kind of love that we have for people*. Maybe we're not as different from "the world" as we pretend to be.

*I don't mean to downplay the importance of sharing one's faith. If someone is a Christian and truly believes in the message, it's almost impossible not to. That's fine and good. I just mean that we can't expect people to believe the message if we don't live the message in the non-religious aspects of our lives. I mean some other stuff too, but I find it hard to convey exactly what I mean.


Roz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Roz said...

Personally, I believe we are to love and minister to people whether or not they decide to become a Christian. How can they repent if they don't hear the gospel? Love is an amazing thing. I think that is very easy to get too caught up in "church" activities, and in using our gifts inside the church. That is why there can sometimes be so much mess and politics in some churches. Light is apreciated most where darkness has reigned. I have started going out into the city (in Texas) with our evangelism team. It has been great talking to people about the Lord, praying with them, etc. Not everyone has been receptive, but I would not stop going becuase of that. Seeds do a lot of maturing under the surface; sometimes we never know what a difference our actions make. I believe we're making an impact. :)

That is one of the reasons I am returning to school. (Only 46 more days until I leave.) BTW, when I get my car, if I have enough time and the funds, I would like to come up to visit you before I leave for Tulsa. :)

Mercy's Maid said...

Would love to see you, Roz.

I thought of some more stuff, so this is kind of an addendum to my post.

If there were no such thing as heaven, would we still bother to reach out to people and love them? I guess my thing is that everyone is so caught up in the long-term needs (salvation) that (IMO) the short-term needs (emotional, monetary, basic necessities) are neglected.

We are told (in church, no less--this is a separate rant of mine) to vote political tickets based on what the politician thinks about two issues: abortion and gay marriage. We don't want anyone killing their babies, but we don't give a crap about those babies once they're born and they don't have good health care, etc.

Pamela said...

tough questions ...
ministry outside our comfort zone puts us in a position of being ridiculed.

in the current mindset of the world... I think we are all afraid that we will "offend" someone

Mandy said...

What? No TT this week? You just threw my world off balance. ;-)

I got the Horseradish Lemony Snicket book. Full of great quotes from the books. This is now pretty much my favorite book ever.