Ministry seems to be the main area that we struggle with being faithful to Jesus as individuals. There are many reasons; one of them without question is because we tend to make ministry an event and not a lifestyle.
Let me give you an example, a neighboring church has been gracious to help us in many different ways. They believe that outreach is a strength of our local body and they wanted to learn from us in hopes that it would transfer to their neighborhood.
They proposed that we have an outreach event in two months. Until then, they wanted to have three meetings to prepare for it, they wanted me to spend time casting vision about the specific outreach and then they wanted me to be a keynote speaker before the outreach. The Saturday of the outreach they wanted us to set up and provide a breakfast for their people. After the morning festivities, the people would then give their Saturday to actually do the outreach.
Is this kind of activity sustainable? I would say it is highly unlikely to sustain that perspective of outreach. I proposed if we were to go through with their plan, the planners would have been drained, I know I would have been drained and if the workers came out and spent 5-8 hours of their Saturday serving I wonder if they would have the passion to do it again the next Saturday or even within the next few weeks. It would probably take them a month or more to be ready to serve in that capacity again and this is where we find many of our beloved churches and its people.
When ministry is seen as an event, people press through faithfully to accomplish the goal of the event and then can’t help but to rest and gather themselves to muster up enough stamina for the next one. Sadly, this does not train people on how to minister in their everyday lives nor does this help them establish the energy to do so. How could this have been done differently? Let me know what your thoughts. I will let you know how we responded based on our philosophy of outreach.