Monday, March 30, 2009

Umbrella of Faith

I've always thought it was strange how some people feel the need to limit the ministries of others. I'll be the first to admit that there are some programs that a church will put on that I don't find particularly appealing...I am not much interested in being a part of the "Mothers of Pre-schoolers" group for instance, but I know some people need that group to connect with God, or even just with other people. The point is God can be present in all kinds of people/gifts/programs/screw ups/disasters so who am I to say, "Nope, sorry, God doesn't need any elderly ministries right now, It's a Young Adult Church. Try again in 35 years when our congregation actually can use it."

Clearly nothing this blunt has ever happened (or at least I hope not), yet I see church boards shoot down project/program/ministry ideas laymen have. Worse yet, sometimes I see other laymen complaining about such-and-such ministry because it doesn't fit his/her/their mold of the church, and therefore the church should not endorse it.

And there's the word:


Support: When we say the "Church" supports a ministry, what are we saying? Well if we are all in agreement that the Church is not a building or business (in the non-tax deductible form of the word), but rather a group of people, then we are saying that at least one person wishes to do something to reach people outside of the already established group of people (church).

"Where three or more are gathered..."

Have you ever heard someone say, "I don't think our church should support that ministry"? Essentially, what that person is saying is, "I don't think we can reach anyone for Christ that way," or, "I don't think we can build any relationships that way."

Aren't we in Crisis here? Should we be trying practically anything that even has the possibility of building relationships/being Christ to someone?

I think maybe we should look at the church more like an umbrella. You wouldn't stand on an umbrella, right? You don't use your pink and green *****ed umbrella from GAP as a walking stick, do you? No, you use it as protection from rain...from grey, wet, cold times. Umbrellas come in different shapes, sizes, colors, and materials, but they all are designed to give people protection from the elements.

What would it look like for a church to allow anyone to start a ministry who wants to?

What if I didn't feel the desire to put my ministries title and information in the bulletin on Sunday?

What if we stopped trying to stand on our umbrellas, and used them to get people out of the cold?
What if I'm off, and we need to run every ministry idea before the Board?

What if we need to know what every person is doing to Shows Christ?

What if there is a mold, and every program needs to be in line with the business model the elders of the church (who are not always old) have in mind?

*I promise they won't all be this long*


  1. I think that you raise some great questions, Joel! I don't want to steal someone else's Thunder, but one comment that I would have to say is that sometimes the church board is good.

    Although I agree that we need to use every ministry possible to reach out to our world, we also need to make sure that the "ministries" are truly Christ-centered. I don't think that we would want people from our churches organizing a anti-homosexual rally. It's that kind of accountablity that church leadership is there to provide.

    There are a lot of other good launching points in this post, perhaps someone else will use one to jump off of.

  2. I don't know if it's like this on everyone's computer, but on mine the word s-t-r-i-p-e-d is blocked with Astrix, and it looks kind of just so you know what it really is.


What do you think?