June 28, 2011


One of the many benefits of being out here for the summer is hearing from some really incredible teachers. Last week we heard a talk on ministry that was a beautiful picture of what we are called to do. The guy who gave the talk was Rick Hove, so I want to give him credit right off because I am about to basically summarize his talk with a mixture of my own thoughts. 

His main point was that our ministry is all about betrothing people to Christ:
"For I feel a divine jealousy for you, since I betrothed you to one husband, to present you as a pure virgin to Christ." 2 Corinthians 11:2

The idea here is that ministry should be about taking the emphasis off of us and what we have to offer and onto Jesus who is the true answer to their needs. Our job is to lead people to and hand them over to Jesus... who is truly the one doing the beckoning in the first place.

We are called to do this by:
  • Offering them a beautiful husband (Jesus). Every time we speak we have a text and a subtext. (The text is what you say and the subtext is what is really heard). In a man-centered ministry the subtext is "Aren't we great? Isn't our ministry great?" and in a Christ-centered ministry the subtext is "Isn't Jesus great?" So we must present Jesus as the most satisfying thing. Always. We must make much of Him!
  • Putting Jesus at the center. Don't assume Jesus is the center. If we don't put Christ at the center of our ministry, at the center of our conversations, at the center of our relationships... anything will move there, even good things. We were not made ultimately for programs, for Bible studies, for intellect, for community groups... we were made ultimately for Jesus.
  • Offering the gospel all the time. We tend to marginalize the gospel to the ABCs of Christianity when it is really the A-Z. We need to be reminded of our rebellious nature and God's redeeming love every day. Every hour. 
  • Embracing and leading people to embrace Jesus. Our hearts are prone to embrace anything but Christ: strategy, self, quality, discipline, money, etc. We must ourselves cling to Jesus as our Savior in all things and lead others to do the same.
This  reminds me of Jesus' promise that the burden of his "religion" is light! We are not bound to perform some moral code, memorize a certain amount of scripture each day, "evangelize" a quota per week... we are called to be enthralled with the person of Jesus and to follow him.

Oh, what a beautiful and exciting thing it is to be able to sit down with college students every day and just say "Isn't Jesus great?" I pray that is the theme of our ministry at Southern Miss.

No comments: