April 12, 2016

Ministry: "We're not in Kansas anymore"

In the twenty first century, Christian ministry has taken on a whole new dynamic. As Dorothy said to Toto, "We're not in Kansas anymore."

In my many years of ministry, I've learned many things. One of which is, if you plan to be in ministry a long time, change is inevitable and you will have to reinvent yourself from time to time.

Don’t take my word for it, search the scriptures. I write about this here.

Christians have depended on the same methods of reaching people with the word of God for over 1700 years. (Come to us, we're not coming to you).

We have also been trained and conditions to believe that this method is the only excepted way to do ministry. Why is that?

The body of Christ is living in an age of tremendous missional and evangelistic opportunity. In this era of the Internet, blogs, video, podcasting and social media, the gospel can travel further and faster than ever before.

These new innovations have made it possible to bypass the institutional gatekeepers, to allow ministry leaders and the former spectator in the pew to fulfill their calling and express their ministry beyond the four walls. Ministries that are revolutionary, evolutionary, fresh, new and different.

I and other across the country have stepped or are in the process of stepping away from ministry within the confines of institutional 'church' for a more transformative mode of ministry, that can be expressed through various venues.

Here's a list of ministry leaders who are advancing The Kingdom in their respective spheres of influence.

Langdon Cassidy is a local minister in the Houston area, with a calling and a passion for outreach and ministering to the homeless. Every weekend he, his wife and staff, travel throughout the Houston area with their refrigerated box truck, ministering to the homeless, provide a word from Jesus, along with a hot meal and clothes. Many of the homeless stand in line for prayer or to be baptized as well. 

The well known Francis Chan, left the pulpit of a "mega church" for the streets of San Francisco. If you know Francis, then you know that he has a heart for discipleship. He and his staff gather on Sunday mornings for prayer just before they hit the streets to feed, pray, and disciple people to Jesus.

Other examples include Thomas Wynn, Thom Shultz, Brittany Moses who blogs about Christians and mental illness and founder of Unashamed Impact, as well as Jackie Hill Perry, Larry D. Reid and many others.

For me, leveraging digital technology to be both a tool and a resource to minister has created a whole new teaching opportunity.

With so many people turning to online ministry to connect and enhance their lives spiritually, it has become a vast new mission field and a tool to provide resources for both spiritual growth and ministry leadership development. As one writer put it, “The pulpit has been moved.”

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