Tag Archives: Ministry

How Can I be Intentional About Helping Others?


Lifting People Up Instead of Pushing Them DownGossip girls

Many people are professional critics, self-centered, and see it their life’s mission to make as many people miserable as they can each day. Many churches, work places and other types of organizations have the same type of people – People who take pleasure at pushing someone down, instead of lifting them up.

Wow!! That may sounds like me or someone else you can readily think of, but before you think of someone else, think of yourself and ask:

How can I be a help instead of damaging others in the daily processes of doing working with people?

It is Person Centered … One person at a time.

FOCUS ON INDIVIDUALS INSTEAD OF THE CROWD

Jesus was followed by a large crowd . . Two blind men shouted, “Lord and Son of David, have pity on us.” (Matthew 20:29-30) As long as we label people, we will never be able to help them. Often labels are used to tag people as “groups that do not matter.” One must never forget – everyone matters – Everyone.

While there is a constant focus upon on changing America, making more laws, regulations, controls to govern the problems of people, maybe we should have a foci of helping one person at a time.

LISTEN SINCERELY TO THE NEEDS OF OTHERS

“When Jesus heard them. . ” Matthew 20:32 If we do not care enough to listen, we do not care enough to help bring about change. Listening is hard work. It is amazing how much we can learn with out mouths shut and our ears open.

TAKE TIME TO BE PRESENT TO OTHERS

“He stopped” (Matthew 20:32).  If we want to demonstrate genuine care and interest in people’s live and situations, it is going to take a commitment of our time. We cannot be too busy to help.

DETERMINE THE FELT NEED OF OTHERS

“Jesus asked, ‘What do want me to do for you?’ (Matthew 20:31) It is easier to talk about someone than it is to talk to someone. Do you know why they do what they do? Are they hurting, lonely, ill-equipped for the task at hand? We will never know without talking and listening.

EMPATHIZE WITH OTHERS

“Jesus felt compassion for them” (Matthew 20:34) Empathize means to hurt with them. Share their sorrow. In the expression of words of empathy, to “Feel their pain” expresses an identification with others and that we sense the suffering of another in a way that moves us. When we understand why, then perhaps we can begin to help bring about change by taking appropriate actions.

TOUCH OTHERS WHERE THE HURT AND NEED IS GREATEST

In Matthew 20:34 “Jesus touched their eyes.” What can we do to help meet the needs of others? What kind of help can we offer? What are we willing to invest in others?

Change begins with me. If I want my world where I live then a good place to start the change change is to look within and see how I can change and make life and the world a better place.

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Ministry in the Family Chapel Church Part 1


Feeding the 5000If you are working as a pastor/leader in the small church, you should not feel alone.  The majority of churches in America, especially in rural areas are small churches.  In fact in the state of Florida, at least 82 percent of the church served in communities around the state, fall somewhere into the group of being small. As perplexing as it is to those who graduate from seminaries, Bible colleges, and theological training; the reality of small rural church ministry does not always congeal with the educational concepts received.  It is because ministers are trained to preach and teach with little emphasis given to human relations skills and the cultural implications of church ministry.

The disparity is deeply felt when theological expectations comes into conflict with an existing culture that does not fit within a firmly held idealism about how people should behave in a given church context.  The unfortunate conflict is a clash of ideals and many times a clash of personality, which is labeled as spiritual by one group or the next to justify behaviors.  To some degree the conflict is somewhat a matter of semantics about what ministry means in a given context or group of people.  Because many religious leaders fall into the category of absolutists, as well as, black and white thinkers; meaning applied to ministry is not defined in a context of community, but in the context of theory, exegesis, and systematic theology.  Thus, idealism clashes with culture and the result is conflict that turns into a battle for right.  Therefore, the result is often ongoing conflict and misunderstanding that defeats the purpose of providing contextual ministry to the community of believers.  As a result, the real problem may be a conflict between the idealism of the minister or expectations of the people about what the Bible says and how meaning is applied in the context of church or community culture.

An often-neglected area of understanding is that culture has a dramatic influence upon how people value the importance of traditions, specific actions, and even individual, or classes of people.  I heard a friend say once that in many churches “we like to clean our fish before we get them in the boat”.  The point that resonates from the statement is that in churches of all sizes conformity is a major issue to insiders.  Therefore, in the process of understanding ministry in a Family Chapel Church a major force in shaping expectations about how ministry happens is contained within the culture and nature of the congregation. As a result,it is very hard for pastors to articulate ministry leadership into practice that is functional.  Unfortunately, one of the things often misunderstood about reaching people outside the church is when others from the outside do not the fit cookie cutter; outsiders are often kept at a distance and feel rejected.  The disparity felt deeply occurs when two sets of values and expectations meet in the context of dissimilar cultural beliefs about what should happen in church and who is allowed inside the family.  Unfortunately, as bad as most people hate to admit that this occurs, people who make up the family chapel church have lofty or lowly ideals that are imposed upon others.  Something that is important to understand about  fishing expeditions is that even when people are different from us in significant ways, the gospel still directs us to minister to them in Jesus’ name.  Many people find this very easy to offer ministry to insiders, but when it comes to those outside the loop; an internal focus creates a disability in ministry. Consequently, the central motive of servant-hood and ministry is sidestepped from sharing the love of Christ in practical ways to those who fit the cultural expectations of the group.

The motive in all churches should be ministry that demonstrates the loving Christ who gave His life for the church. However, an important question is how a pastor can minister in a church that is inverted theologically, while culturally isolated from everything he has been taught and experienced.  How can a pastor in a Family Chapel Church remain faithful to his conviction and calling and be effective in ministry to the place of service?  The answer is simple, but challenging at the same time.  A pastor who will be effective must be adaptable in the style of leadership and ministry that will occur in a process that keeps him focused upon the main thing, “pastoral ministry”.