I was recently talking to a Vincentian pastor about how easy it is to just keep doing what you are doing. By this I mean churches and individuals who fall into the habit of continuing to do what they had been doing, even though it wasn’t effective. He explained how a ministry at his church wasn’t working well (“people were just showing up”) so changes were made that ensured it was helping people grow. He looked at me and said. “you have to find something that works.”
Those words spoke deeply to me…..
Because I’ve recently had to give up good ministry practices that just weren’t working
Now there is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING wrong with these ministry practices according to Scripture! But over time they had lost some of their effectiveness, and there was a need to temporarily set them aside so something better could begin.
The major ministry is tract distribution which I’ve done almost every morning for years. The thing is there’s still an interest in getting tracts, but it isn’t the most effective way of sharing the Gospel. A lot of times the person will take the tract from me, and then just keep on walking. Yes I did give the Gospel out, but an effective outreach would involve a conversation and relationship development.
As good as tract distribution is it doesn’t lead to many conversations.
In the end I had to ask myself “do I want to have an outreach that is good, or an outreach that is excellent?” Obviously the answer to that question is excellent! But setting aside something I’m used to doing and starting something new is hard work work, and to be honest a bit scary.
This is why when asked to choose between a ministry that’s “just okay” and a ministry that works, we will be tempted to choose the former. But being average falls into the trap of Satan.
Satan understands that he can’t get many Christians to completely reject Christ (those who do probably aren’t Christians in the first place) so instead of encourages them to be average.
- Just go through the motions
- Read the Bible, but don’t apply it
- Go to church, but don’t let it affect your life
- Pray, but don’t spend too much time doing it
Being average is the easy road to take since everyone else seems to be taking it. But we must choose excellence (something that works) so that when Christ returns He will say “well done good and faithful servant”, instead of “thou wicked and slothful servant.” There will be many Christians who when Christ returns will leave many things undone because they chose being average.
It is never easy to give up what we have been doing and do the hard work of creating something that works
But we put the work in, because a ministry that pursues excellence or effectiveness is a form of worship.