"I am pretty sure a smart, productive atheist
could do my job well."
- A successful pastor, quoted in
(I am re-posting this for a friend.)
Ministry, in the name of Jesus, transcends our abiltiies and talents. Sadly, claim Jamin Goggin and Kyle Strobel (and Francis Chan, Dallas Willard, Eugene Peterson, and Tozer, et. al.), the American Entertainment-Consumer Church has abandoned this power.
Goggin (and Strobel and Chan) came to a place where
"he was disturbed by the notion that he could succeed in ministry without depending on God;
it troubled him that he could do ministry
in the flesh and be praised for it.
Even more disconcerting was the fact
that he could lead confidently,
and cast an exciting vision for his church
—and none of this required he even be a Christian.
It wasn’t that he was doing ministry in the flesh
that unnerved him,
although that was certainly enough.
More disturbing was that his view of ministry
didn’t depend on God even existing
for things to work well."
Goggin and Strobel, p. 127
Ministry in the name of Jesus looks different and is different from trying to attract people to church and keep them happy.
Goggin and Strobel interview Willard, who says this about ministry.
"What is ministry?
Ministry is bringing the life of God,
as it would be understood in terms of Jesus and his kingdom,
into the lives of other people.
We minister the kingdom of God.
That gives you a new way of thinking about ministry
because now you are a carrier of the kingdom of God,
which is how Jesus trained his first disciples.
You are a carrier of the power of God,
the kingdom of God,
and the grace of God;
and so you watch that work with people
and try not to get in its way.
But that is the secret of ministry.
You bring the power of God,
the truth of God,
and the presence of Jesus
into the lives of other people
and you watch it work."
Goggin and Strobel, p. 153
My five books are:
Encounters with the Holy Spirit (co-edited with Janice Trigg)