Is it possible?
To oversimplify ministry??
I recently had lunch with a friend. We had a great conversation about areas of ministry within LifeChurch. Much of what I talk about in ministry is in context to the family, because that is my audience. Though our weekend experiences are amazing, I lean more toward what’s happening in the living room during the week.
I have lots of ideas and passion for helping families to foster a Paul/Timothy environment at home, my friend asked what my ideas were for those other categories of people (i.e. single, widowed, teens, young adults, etc).
I took a few days to digest the question but I don’t know that I see any difference between a young parent with an elementary-age child and a widowed man adjusting to single life again. Though the life-circumstances differ, their purpose is the same.
To love God with all their heart, mind and strength. And to love others as we do ourselves.
This is accomplished most successfully in Paul/Timothy relationships where we are discipled by one as we disciple another. Give it a cool 21st century name but it all boils down to the same thing. Discipleship. One mature in his faith teaching another to grow in their maturity.
It has less to do with Bible study and more to do with living inside each others’ pockets. Eating together, playing together, sharing struggles together. It’s not small group. It’s not Sunday School… or whatever your church calls it.
This is not just your church friend, your neighbor or your running buddy. This is the person you speed dial when you need encouragement and guidance. This person doesn’t apologize for your circumstances but sees beyond it in anticipation for how God is working.
They don’t sugar-coat… they challenge you to push through.
They don’t stroke your ego… they lovingly point out the sin you may not see.
They don’t allow you to remain idle… they challenge you to do pour into another.
As Paul challenges Timothy (2 Timothy 2:1-3),
…throw yourself into this work for Christ. Pass on what you heard from me…to reliable leaders who are competent to teach others. When the going gets rough, take it on the chin with the rest of us, the way Jesus did.
Though my mode of communication is geared toward parents with kids living under their roof… isn’t this the goal of every believer? Isn’t this the most effective method of building believers… regardless of the stage of life?
Methods will vary based upon where you are in life. But the purpose remains the same.
To love God with everything in you, and love others as much as you do yourself.