How do we reach out to people? How do we keep doctrine and theology pure and orthodox? How do we get our churches to grow? How do we engage youth in ministry? How do we engage the elderly in ministry? How to we engage young families in ministry? How do we engage empty-nesters in ministry?
I’m sure at different times you have heard at least one of these questions. In truth, they are good questions that show an intention and desire to serve God and His Church faithfully. But, what are the answers? I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about answers to these and similar questions. I’ve anguished over many of them to no avail. But are these the questions we need to be focusing on?
St. Paul was a missionary of great effectiveness. He engaged all kinds of people in ministry. What was his formula for success?
When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power, so that your faith might not rest on men's wisdom, but on God's power. (I Corinthians 2:1-5)
Huh, maybe the answer is not the problem after all. Maybe it’s the questions, all of which focus on OUR work, that pose the real stumbling block. We don’t do anything, we come in weakness before the Lord and He gives us the answer: Christ and him crucified!
And why is that the answer? So that you faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power.
Next time your up in the middle of the night pondering what you can do as a Pastor, elder, District President, lay person, to fix the Church and make it prosperous, look to Christ crucified for you answer. It’s there nailed to the tree.