Is Your View of Ministry Too Church-Focused?

In my experience in church ministries, I have found that the pastoral staffs get so caught up in the daily workings of church ministry that we often miss the Kingdom work that we are supposed to be doing. Here’s a quote that drives it home for me:

“Much of the positive Christian influence on me and my seminary friends was through people who thought that God’s most important task is world evangelism and that the most important thing we can do is tell people about Christ, help them become believers, and then teach and train them to be faithful to Christ, to lead and disciple others…
After several years of ministry, a friend of mine refused to stand up in church one morning when I called on everyone to stand as a way of expressing their desire to serve Christ sacrificially as Christ’s servants. He told me afterward that the way I described Christian ministry left out all those folks who were focused on trying to be God’s servants in the workplace and marketplace. I had become so intent on building up the local church, seeing it become strong and healthy and active, that I was apparently implying that’s all that mattered.

My friend got my attention.
I realized I had unconsciously developed a view of the ministry that was too narrow – too church-focused.”
-John Yates, Rector, The Falls Church, speaking at the commencement for Covenant Theological Seminary, St. Louis, MO, May 16, 2008


Robin Dugall said...

This very good Bob...excellent point in this post...we in the churchworld continue to believe that mission is about us...we think that God is obligated to "show up" for what we do instead of seeing our mission as joining God in what HE is doing. My question based upon your post, "is God all about building buildings?" Is that what God is up to in the world? You remember that it is the human heart that is the "temple" of the Lord...that's what God is trying to build...lives, relationships and hearts. Keep up the great posts!

Bob Robinson said...

Thanks, Robin, for your excellent thoughts. Great stuff. If God is building His Kingdom, then we had better not confuse His Kingdom with the Church. The Church functions for the sake of the Kingdom of God, not the other way around.