June 15, 2010

What Are You Married To?

Yesterday I heard a powerful & convicting quote from a somewhat surprising source. Andy Stanley told a group of Southern Baptist pastors, "Most of us are married to a model of ministry, & we flirt with the Great Commission." It's a surprising source because Andy & Northpoint are so closely connected with a model of ministry. It's copied all across America, people flock to conferences so that they can be taught the model, & churches are split over that model & countless other models for "doing church". Andy's quote is a sobering reminder that the WHY of ministry is bigger than the HOW of ministry.

If you're reading this & are either overtly or subconsciously connecting your model as the way to accomplish the Great Commission, you're missing the point. There is no absolutely foolproof model. Models are tools & just like the ones in your toolbox, none of them can handle every job. Models depend on your history, your resources, your culture, but the Great Commission transcends all those things & goes straight to the heart of God: a desire to see people changed by Jesus.

The moral of the story? I think its twofold. First, we shouldn't disregard other models of ministry simply because we've never done it that way before, but secondly, we shouldn't get so wrapped up in our hip, cool, cutting edge model either. In a few years, the world will have changed again & today's cool model may be obsolete. It's the why of ministry that has stood the test of time. When we make that our priority we can free ourselves up as leaders to embrace different methods & models to take care of the how of ministry.

Take a good hard look at the  church & ministry you serve in. Are you married to the HOW or the WHY?

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