Yesterday afternoon after Bible club I allowed a few boys to go play with my spider-man ball (a common occurrence). About thirty-minutes later as we locked up they returned with very sad looks, and a busted ball.
As I walked home with the ball in my hand, the Lord reminded me that ministry doesn’t have to be perfect…it just has to engage people.
When ministry began in Barrouallie I relied heavily on strategic plans, schedules, and notes on outreaches that would bring the people in. Little did I know a $15 ball with a spider-man face on it would draw more people than any strategic plan.
over the years I used it for:
- Game time after Bible club
- Devotionals at a local park
- Football practice near my house
- And playing games of dodgeball on my days off
Of course the important thing wasn’t the ball itself, but the time that I spent engaging with young people and adults using it.
The more time I spend in missions, the more I’m convinced that it boils down to engaging (connecting with) people. Originally that engagement will be about developing a relationship and building a “Gospel bridge” into their life but it doesn’t stop there
Engagement also becomes a relationship that centers on discipleship and spiritual mentoring. Then that same relationship plays a large part in the training and sending of Believers to reach others.
The funny thing about engagement is you can’t really plan it…instead it
just happens slowly over time as you spend time with people.
Because of this it’s easy to focus time or energy on ministry instead of engagement with people that doesn’t show immediate results.
While overlooking the fact that engagement IS ministry!
After Bible Club today some kids made and decorated paper-airplanes, which where then used in a competition to see whose flew the farthest.
Honestly there are a lot of things I need to get done, and part of me wanted to be working on something “important.” But seeing the looks on the kids faces and the conversations we had as they made their planes reminded me sometimes a paper-airplane competition is important.