Wednesday, June 03, 2015
Change and UnChange - Genuine Ministry
At one end of the spectrum we have "pop psychology" preaching that is intended to be appealing to the culture at large, but is devoid of the Gospel. From this perspective, you get sermon titles like "three ways to a good marriage," "five steps to a stress-free life," or "four keys to obedient pets."Stetzer is right on here in saying that there is a middle ground. This piece is; however, unhelpful in ever finding that ground. It lays out that there is and give vague generalities on how to find it, but it does not get to the hardcore what to do. Is that a failing? Not really becasue the hardcore what to do is contextual and that is where the problem lies. As I see it there are two problems.
The next generation realizes that this preaching isn't working so well. They swing to the other end and reject cultural relevance entirely in order to get back to a "pure preaching" of the Gospel. In their quest, however, they can fail to engage the culture around them.
I could name names and organizations, but that swing is evident in our culture today—both extremes are taking place before our eyes. It's not helpful and the pendulum swings are not reaching others with the gospel.
I would contend that there is a better course of action rather than going with the winds of evangelical church culture. Not surprisingly, it's found right in the Bible, with the example of Paul.
Problem one. We make it too easy for people to lead ministry. To provide good ministry in context one has to be smart, really smart. Smart is a amtter of a lot of things, maturity and experience are part of them. We need to let people get older, more mature and more experienced before we hand them the reins. That requires patience, both in the person and in the church. Things may not happen today, or even tomorrow - it may take a decade. We have to be willing to let it - patience.
Problem two. Genuine contextual ministry is hard. No quick fixes, no easy answers. No reading from book XYZ and simply applying it. It is just hard. Really, really hard. We have to be willing to work hard. I am not sure we are and this calls into question our own commitment to Christ and His ministry. We have to be right or our ministry is not right.
church culture ministry