Program vs. Mission

Okay, I struggle with this.  Ministry is a difficult job for many reasons, but today I’ll challenge you to struggle with one of the reasons I struggle the most:  almost any job someone has is based on the amount of hours worked and the task completed.

Now sure there are tasks I must complete.  I prepare sermons.  I visit people.  I counsel people who want to be married.  I counsel people who are struggling.  I help plan worship services.  These are things and hours that can be counted.  But can the results?

Who knows what good a visit has done?  Who knows if anyone cares about the message you preach?  Only time will tell if marriages will last with the quality you pray they will.  Sometimes people who are struggling take years to work through issues and overcome (or maybe I’m the only one who’s done that . . .)

Now think: program, or mission?  I live with vibrancy because by and large I feel a joy in doing what I’m called to do, not because of some expected result.  Don’t make the mistake of thinking I don’t care about results.  Certainly I do and I pray for results, that God would move in our lives for His great glory!  But it’s engaging fully in the mission that far outweighs the feeling of being done with the program.

A bit of further explanation will help.  In a normal job, Sunday would be over and I’d be able to sit down and count the hours we put into making things work.  Lessons prepared the past week, hours spent at church teaching those lessons, and the effectiveness of the programs and services.  And we could well say that everything went smoothy and we spent the proper hours in preparation for something that paid off.  But if that’s our goal, then it’s all about us.  IT’S NOT!  It’s about the mission.

And it’s the mission that carries us.  It’s the mission we pray for when it’s late at night and people we love are on our minds when we can’t sleep.  It’s the mission that causes us to make a connection with others or send a text or call to see how someone is doing.  It’s the mission that consumes us – the mission to make disciples and to live a life to best show the character of Christ to those we love.

Anyone can set up a program and meet certain needs.  May we never feel sufficiency in running a program.  I hope and pray that we will be Christians who see the times we’re together in ministry (program) as launching pads for how to encourage throughout daily life.  May our programs be launching pads for loving people at all times!

Have a great Friday everyone.

In Christ,

Pastor Kevin

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