Posts Tagged ‘ministry’
the role of the church, the way i see it…and once again, by church i mean the congragational gathering…is for community. we were made for relationships…God is relational, we were created in God’s image, therefore we are relational beings…we were not created to go through life as loners, and we are not meant to walk this Christian walk alone. Side note a bit: I’m not saying you can’t be friends and have relationships with people who aren’t Christian, but I think there’s something powerful and build-up-ness about having friends/accoutability partners who have the same basic beliefs/morals/world-view as you do.
Ok, back to our regularly scheduled blogpost: Joshua Davidson chose Peter to be the rock that His church would be built upon, but he didn’t send Peter out alone, he had 11 other guys doing it with him (yea, I remember what happened to Judas, they replaced him with Matthius remember?)…and they garnered more and more people to walk with them along the way…even Paul when he went on his many mission trips wasn’t travelling alone…he often went with Barnabas and then there was John Mark and there were times during the travels when Dr Luke would pop in for a spell…and even when he was travelling alone he would always stay with other Christians in the area.
So, as I see it the church (congregation) isn’t there to play babysitter and make sure you do your homework and eat your vegetables…we do the gathering thing for the community – to love one other, share with each other, encourage one another, rejoice with those who rejoice, and cry with those who cry.
As I said in part 1, I don’t think it’s the church’s job to come up with “witnessing/outreach” things for us to do, I think it’s up to me, when I see a need to fulfil that need and then when we meet on Sunday I share with my family what happened the past week, we either celebrate together or mourn together. We share in each other’s lives, pains, etc. We praise God together, we seek Him together and on behalf of each other, we encourage each other to live a life worthy of the calling we’ve recieved, we have the enGAGE pizza together at Gino’s, then we go out into the world and live out that calling by being a witness to those who haven’t seen the light yet. That is your ministry/calling/witnessing…being a light to those who haven’t seen it yet…and it is not necessarily going to happen in mission trips and in street evangelisms and organised outreach things, it might just happen through you living out your everyday life in a way that in “whatever you do, whether in word or deed, [you] do it all in the name of our Lord Jesus, giving thanks to the father through him”.
which leads me to thoughts on the church in Acts…that will be part 3
I’ve been writing a lot lately, which is really good. Not blogging-writing but like songs, poetry, etc…I don’t put any of that stuff on here cos it’s quite personal and not good enough to be read by the general public. But I enjoy it so… I was telling my friend Isa the other day how I’ve been writing songs in my dreams lately…really cool…so she suggested that I keep paper and a pen by my bed so that I could write them down in the morning while they are still fresh in my mind…so I did…but I haven’t dreamed up new songs since then…oh well
I haven’t done much of that lately…I need to get back into it. And I dont’ know why I haven’t been reading…i’m just lazy to open a book.
faith and hope
We’ve been talking about faith and hope the last few weeks in youth (i’m one of the youth leaders in my church which is super cool…but will get into that in a few minutes). Anyway, last week we were talking about hope and how we can place our hopes and dreams in God’s hands because he really does care. We can fully have faith in him because of his unable-to-lie-ness.
I was reading Amos last night and realised that although most of the book is about how God is going to destroy Israel and surrounds, He ends it on this beautiful note of hope – to restore Israel…which just reminded me that He is our hope. You place your hope in anything else and it’s anyone’s guess what will happen…you place your hope in him and in his word and you can’t go wrong
he really does care about us and he really does want the best for us…
So as i’ve said before, I always wanted to work with youth, especially young, fatherless females and help them discover their worth and to help them learn to love themselves. I am working with youth at the moment, but not in the way I thought I would.
Firstly there’s vision k, which i have loved working with since the beginning of this year and still look forward to the meetings with anticipation every tuesday. That’s what gets me through my work every tuesday, knowing that at the end of the day vision k awaits. And I suppose the chicks from vision k are the people i wanted to work with as most of them are living the whole fatherless-generation situation.
I recently became part of the team that leads youth at my church…we only have 2 chicks though, and they both seem like they come from proper families where they know who their father is and have a relationship with their father and all’s well so not what I was going for but God has a way of changing our plans to be more in-line with his and to make them…better…so I have faith that he knows what he’s doing and I’m just going to follow as he leads
Must say though, truly enjoying both of these youth groups…the youth, the leaders, the work God’s doing…awesomeness!
Just came across this band called Gravity Wins Again, and if you haven’t already, I’d recommend you check them out. They are really good and I’m sure they are going to take South Africa by storm
And I’m also loving the song Prodigal by One Republic…has me written all over it.
And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love, but the greatest of these is love
In closing, I serve a really big God
[Feeling too small for God by Jon Acuff - Stuff Christians Like]
The world is pretty big. There are a lot of countries, with millions and millions of square miles of people and land and ocean. The universe is even bigger than that. I’ve never been but from the photos I’ve seen it’s massive. Pathways of stars, belts of black holes and galaxies and planets. It’s just endless, and somewhere up there, God knows your boyfriend broke up with you.
Maybe He doesn’t. I mean, maybe He’s up there and He’s working on really big stuff. He’s healing famines and trying to bring peace to war torn lands. The greatness of His issues makes your little issues look ordinary and simple and maybe even boring.
But every now and then I come across a verse that shakes my deep belief that I am beneath God’s radar. One that I love is Psalm 56:8. Here, in what hopefully makes me look pretty smart, is the King James Version:
“Thou tellest my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle: are they not in thy book?”
But maybe you’re not old school, so here’s what the New Living Translation says:
“You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.”
I think that’s beautiful. Can you imagine that? Can you picture God doing that? Taking His giant hands and tenderly picking up every single one of your tears? Knowing why they came, understanding what they mean, placing them in His bottle, so that He can comfort you.
That’s how God spends his days.
That’s how small this big universe is.
I don’t have any…no, I’m not being modest. I’m probably the only person who was born without a talent. When I was younger I used to think I could sing. I thought I sounded like Miriah Carey. I wanted to be a singer when I grew up…that was my dream. Then the dream was shattered the day I realized that I can’t actually sing. Sad, sad day.
I thought about giving up on singing. And this was a big deal…it wasn’t like when I gave up on ballet, or piano, or gymnastics, or…I had been singing since I could remember. I had been in school choirs, sang in talent shows, all of that…so singing was a huge part of me. And then one day as I’m sitting there singing with some friends I realised that there is a difference between the way they are singing and the way I’m singing…and that’s when it dawned on me. What they are doing is called singing…there is no word to describe what I’m doing.
As I said I thought about giving it up…but through the encouragement of my music teacher, I decided instead to learn how to sing. So I’ve learned how to sing…I think. I mean I can hold a note, and people have told me I can sing so I’m guessing I’m not totally fooling myself. I’m not musically disabled in the sense that I can hear when a note is flat or sharp or off…I can tell that stuff just naturally, but I had to learn to hear it in myself, and be able to fix it. That’s weird.
So, the past couple of weeks I’ve been thinking about Spiritual gifts (if you are on facebook check out the group called “ThortForTheWeek”, there’s also a facebook app by the same name, and a weekly email that goes out – let me know if you wanna subscribe to it). Anyway, there’s this one verse I never saw in 1 Chorinthians 12 (which, along with 14 is the gifts chapter) that says “But eagerly desire the greater gifts” (v31). I don’t think I have any spiritual gifts…but I like that the bible encourages me to want them. Like, yea, they are not like natural gifts where you are born with them…these ones you gotta want them and seek them out and ask for them…that gives me hope. It’s like, “no, God didn’t forget to give them to you, He’s just waiting for you to ask”. Ok, obviously he works in his time and his will is perfect so he’s gonna work according to that…but I like that he wants us to ask him for them. It just reminds me how right Hagar was: He is “the God who sees me” (Genesis 16: 13). He didn’t forget about me…He’s waiting on me to ask.
So, we were talking about gifts in cell group last week cos I just had too many questions which raised more questions which led to more questions and so we kinda didn’t get to what we were going to talk about but looked at Spiritual gifts instead. Anyway, so after that night, I took this online Spiritual gifts test and my top 5 gifts according to the answers I gave were:
1. Poverty – volunteerily living in poverty in order to better minister to those who are in those circumstances involuntarily(?)
2. Music – using music (be it singing, playing an instrument, dancing) to minister to those around you
3. Mercy (Compassion) – feeling for others, recognizing immediate need in others, and finding practical ways to meet those needs
4. Giving – the person who thinks “how much do I really NEED to live on?” and gives the rest away…always thinking of other’s needs before their wants
5. Missionary – not necessarily “going” but in your own surroundings being able to connect with those of different cultures, languages, beliefs, social standing, ect
I don’t know if those are my gifts, but if there were gifts I eagerly desired, those would be them. So Joshua Davidson and I are going to have a few conversations and those gifts will be popping up a lot.
One other thing I learned about gifts is: it’s not about me. Whatever gift God gives me, it is to be used to glorify him and serve (minister to) others. IT’S NOT ABOUT ME.
“…I want to live out my life and ministry in community.
I want my life TO BE my ministry…Thus, now, I want to bring my friends together in a big home (whether it be a huge house, take over an apartment complex… logistics for later) and live life in tight community.” –Josh Mello, 2007
That’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately – living with people and actively sharing your life with them. i don’t do that well – sharing. When i moved to Stellenbosch I had a choice between two flats, one sharing and one on my own but more expensive. I chose the more expensive. I tend to be very selfish with my space. I love the idea of living in community though, of having people there holding you accountable for your life, of having people to come home to – instead of my pc. I just don’t know if I’m cut out for it.
I first started thinking about this community thing in 2005 – after reading the book “Blue Like Jazz” (Donald Miller). I thought it sounded awesome and I think I would have done it then but my friends didn’t like the idea so much and to be honest I didn’t have the finances (I was living with the parents then). Then the idea came back again in the form of “The Irresistible Revolution”; this time I had the resources – living on my own, got a job to pay rent, etc – but then the friends were still not keen. Then Brett (youth pastor, vineyard christian fellowship, stellenbosch) said he was “starting one and people who are interested we’ll be meeting at…on …” and during the “…” I was thinking “I just signed a one year lease on my flat so that’s not for me”, and “yea, i don’t really know these people and they don’t know me, i wanted to do it with my friends”. Then he mentioned that he would be moving to Kayamandi and I thought “ok, now I know its definitely not for me, God wouldn’t move me back to Kasi (township)”.
I started volunteering with a group called Vision K this year – we teach life skills (e.g. self esteem, public speaking, leadership, etc) to a group of grade 10′s from Kayamandi High School. During a get-to-know-each-other session we came to learn that most of the girls in the group had “father issues”. I then went on to write this a few days later:
“my heart aches for the fatherless generation we are living in now. my heart aches for young boys who will grow up addicted to alcohol, womanizing, and beating up women because that’s what they know. my heart aches for girls who don’t realize their self worth and let men take advantage of them because they didn’t have a father around to show them how a woman should be loved. my heart aches because my relationship with my father is not what it should be. my heart aches because i fear that it might be too late for me.
i rejoice when i think that God wants to use my broken heart to heal others. i rejoice when i think that there is hope, and his name is Jesus. i rejoice at the fact that he can use my past hurts and my past experiences to minister to those who are where i was. I rejoice because its not about me, its all about his glory. i rejoice because he is God!”
Its always been my heart to minister to young girls in that situation. I just don’t know if Vision K is the right platform for that – well, not yet anyway. I don’t think the girls and I are in a place in our relationship where they would be comfortable to talk about deep stuff yet. So I’ve made myself available, and I pray that when they do need to talk they will feel comfortable enough to come to me.
One evening we were going to drop off some of the vision k peeps home and as we are driving through kasi I realize how much I miss it – you know, the little things like knowing who your neighbor is, or feeling so comfortable with your neighbor that you don’t have to call first to visit. ubuntu-ness . (side note: I think moving to the surburbs had a lot to do with my space-issues, and my lack of hospitality-ness, or maybe not – i don’t know). It then struck me that this is the place I was so against moving to, and yet this is the place where the very people I wanted to minister to were living. I’m not saying its God’s will that I move to Kayamandi, I’m not saying I’m going to move to Kayamandi – I’m just saying I’m thinking…maybe moving back to Thaba nchu?
watch this space.