Saturday, March 26, 2022

Ministry in Jesus' Name Looks Different than Keeping People Happy


(Cancun sunrise)

"I am pretty sure a smart, productive atheist 
could do my job well."

- A successful pastor, quoted in 
(P. 127)
(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 ChanDallas 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, 
think strategically, 
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. 
That’s ministry. 
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."