I am reminded every week that many of the people who walk through our church doors may look okay on the outside, but are dealing with some personal crisis. Addictions. Marriage in trouble. Kids rebelling. Health failing. Financial crisis. Lack of purpose. These people show up searching for answers and seeking God.
When we address “felt needs” in the Sunday sermon, we are not watering down the message. We are helping people find forgiveness, healing, and a new direction for their life. I enjoy preaching through the Bible and I like using the expository method (through a book, etc) because it teaches a broader view of the scriptures and helps our congregation grow collectively. But that is not always the most practical or beneficial thing to do when talking to hurting people who need to undertand how the Bible applies to their lives. I mean, does such a person really need to know the finer details about the goat in Leviticus? My point being, let's never loose sight that ministry is also about rescue - we are here to resuce the perishing.
- When the person sitting next to me in the pew is dealing with a marriage crisis that is leading to a crisis of faith, it makes personal preferences of musical style and the volume setting seem pretty small.
- If you neglect the mission field in your own neighborhood because of your desire to help people across the ocean, it makes me think that you might be choosing the path of least resistance. It’s easy to stack cement block in South America to help build a church building, then get on a plane and come back home, and not have to deal with the people you left behind. Makes you feel good about yourself. On the other hand, it’s much harder to deal with the mess that’s going on in the lives of people in your community.
- When you choose to focus on your theological differences – at the expense of helping people find healing and hope – could it be that you have not spent enough time living out your faith because you are so busy defending your faith?
I don’t have the corner on God’s kingdom, but each week I look into the eyes of real people who have real issues going on and they need God.
Let’s not forget why we do what we do.