Life-changing . . .
When I was fifteen, I attended a ten-day training event in preparation for a summer of children’s ministry. For the life of me, I’ll never remember what possessed me to think that I could hold the attention of a group of kids – or that I would dare to open my mouth and say hi to the other teens in attendance! Even so, tears, nausea, and ten days later, there I was – still fearful, but holding onto the promise of God’s enablement and ready to travel from church to church, teaching outdoor Bible clubs for six weeks.
Some program, huh?
From shy, cringing, and silent soul to ninja summer missionary warrior in ten days?
Not quite. The active ingredient in this recipe was relationship. Godly women, committed to pouring their lives into the spiritual development of a herd of teens, took the time to pray with me, to look for the promise and possibility behind my eye-concealing bangs and nerdy clothes, all with the intent of polishing a very rough and nearly invisible gift for teaching.
And that was just the beginning . . .
Join me over at the LifeLetter Cafe today where I’m sharing “the rest of my story” and how this experience has stayed with me in the form of a conviction that effective ministry models are built on relationship. Like spiritual disciplines that create a space in which we meet God, a program is also a space-holder, a fruitful opportunity to know and to be known, to become aware of individual needs, gifting and potential. Trusting to the efficiency of a program alone, we follow an industrial model of discipleship — low-maintenance, but also low-impact. When we bypass relationship in ministry, we suffocate a living, breathing organism, for this is what Jesus intended His church to be.
While you’re at the Cafe, I encourage you to check out other authors and to learn more about the ministry which is designed to encourage, equip, empower, and engage.
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