Have you felt like you know that you want serve the Lord, but you simply don't know what to do? For several years I've been drifting from place to place, ministry to ministry trying to find my place where I feel like God wanted me. I've done everything from ministry of helps (cleaning, ushering, and technical support) to street evangelism and everything in between. In the process I've gone to school to learn about being a minister and that opened my eyes to a whole new understanding of the different types of ministry there are that work through and in support of the Five Fold. Still, I tried just about everything and nothing fit. I could tell some pretty humorously sad stories about the stupid things I've done while I was learning to go about ministering, but maybe some other time.
Imagine my surprise upon reading the letter of James that it suddenly became so clear. Most of us are already aware that we are to go into the world and make disciples (Matthew 28:19), and that's a big but in James 1:27 it says that the only faultless religion is to take care of the orphans and widows and to remain untainted by the world. Wow! Finally, someone can give it to me straight. I used to think I need to switch churches or find the right Bible study to figure out what I could do, but in the end that stuff isn't what is important. We live out our lives doing the good work God has called us to do to the least of these (Matthew 25:40). Some might be wondering what that good work is, but the answer is so simple. Live. We live our lives to honor and glorify God, setting ourselves apart from the world, speaking truth and spreading love to everyone we meet. If we do this, then we have done the good work.
We don't need ministries, only accountability. We don't need churches, only the body of Christ. Ministries are fallible organizations of man. Churches are only bricks and roofing. Accountability ensures we are constantly in the Word, living rightly, and on target. Churches provide protection from the elements and distractions, but at the same time it offers us a safe haven from the very mission field we are called to work in. Sometimes we get too comfortable behind our rose-colored stained glass windows, and for that reason we really have to push ourselves out of that comfort zone and in the words of Kid Rock, "Get in the pit and try to love someone."
I'm not bashing any particular church or ministry, but I'm highly critical of anything that tries to over-complicate the Gospel mission with man-made institutionalization. Because of Jesus, we no longer have a need for ceremony and acts of intention. We simply are. Need healing? Accept Jesus and be healed. (Isaiah 53:5) Need forgiveness? Confess your sins and you are forgiven. (1 John 1:9) Struggling with temptations? God will always make a way out. (1 Corinthians 10:13)
Hoc est verum,