Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Essential Activity of Christian Ministry: Part 3

Focus of Ministry

If the ultimate goal is the creation of true disciple of Jesus, then this should be the focus of every ministry in the church. As this relates to education, discipleship, and spiritual formation, which specific area should be the focus? Previously it was asserted that each of these areas is interrelated to one another thus it is not possible, in the view of the author, to completely separate one from the others if the goal of the church is to make disciples. There are instances such as fellowship where there is very little formal education taking place.

One would not argue that the Wednesday evening meal many churches still enjoy together is not a ministry but does it serve to create disciples? Education may be lacking and obvious discipleship efforts are not present. This is, however, an environment in which believers have the opportunity to serve others and model the love of Christ through their service? Those serving are demonstrating they are disciples willingly serving the body so it could be argued that this models Christ. Seeing others model Christ serves to assist in spiritual formation of newer believers. This and other areas of service, however menial some may find them to be, bring glory to God, model the life of service of a disciple, and ultimately in the opinion of this seminarian leads to discipleship. Having said that, the church should guard against too great a focus on inward-looking ministries lest we forget the Great Commission to go and make disciples.

The focus of what will be referred to as the primary ministries of the church should always be in some form or fashion creating disciples of Jesus Christ. Churches do a good job of promoting the importance on the spiritual maturity of believers.[1] Attention should be paid to ensuring that environments are created and sustained where discipleship can occur be those environments Sunday School, small groups, Bible studies, etc.

[1] Barna, George. Growing True Disciples. (Colorado Springs: WaterBrook Press, 2001), 18. Barna goes on to state that making disciples is not an option but rather a command from Jesus Christ (Matt. 9:35-38; John 15:8), 54-55.

1 comment:

Gorges Smythe said...

Good post! We DO need to be sociable without being MERELY sociable.