Saturday, July 3, 2010

Caring Ministry

I love to read the Gospels. They provide the opportunity for us to see glimpses of the life and ministry of our Savior. It is not unusual for me to read a familiar story about Jesus and see some new truth or insight that I had not seen before. It is wonderful how the scripture stays fresh and new even when we read passages we have read many times. I have discovered two wonderful truths about Jesus’ ministry.

Jesus was always teaching. Obviously, there were specific times when he was teaching such as “the Sermon the on Mount.” But, I have noticed that he was always teaching. When he travelled with his disciples he used every circumstance of their lives as an occasion to teach them and others about God, the Kingdom, and how they should live. Jesus packed an enormous amount of teaching and instruction into three short years of public ministry. He could only do this by taking advantage of every opportunity.

The second thing that is obvious about his ministry is that he always started where people were. Jesus accepted people—all people—right where they were. He loved them in spite of their sin. The tax collector in Jericho and the Samaritan women at Jacob’s well are just two examples. His universal acceptance of people formed the foundation of his ministry to them. He always began with their felt needs. No matter whether they were blind, hungry, lonely, thirsty, sick or afraid, he met them where they were and ministered to their need.

Our Share Hope emphasis is designed to help our churches become more effective in developing congregational ministries as they seek to meet the needs of people in their churches and communities. Ministry has the potential to open many doors into the lives of people as we care for them in the name of Christ. Someone once said, People will not care about what we know until they know we care. People were drawn to Jesus by his compassion and ministry. He was often able to not only address their felt needs, but he was also able to lead them into a new relationship with God. I encourage you to read the Gospels again with me and see the fresh and wonderful way Jesus ministered to people. Maybe we should do the same.

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