Thursday, January 25, 2007

The kind of life Jesus invites us to live...

Food for thought from John Ortberg:

I remember a church-planting consultant who warned a group of us that we would need to pay the price if we wanted a successful church plant. We'd have to do whatever it took: let our marriages suffer, put our children on hold.

But it seemed to me then, and it does now, that this cannot be the way God intended ministry. If the purpose of ministry is to convince people to live the kind of life Jesus invites us to live, how can the church be built on people who give up living the kind of life Jesus invites us to live?

A central question for my life these days is this: Is my involvement in ministry helping Christ to be formed in me?

Authentic ministry will never work in opposition to leading a life of increasing joy and love and gentleness. Ministry must never be separated from spiritual formation.

If ministry is being done right, it will aid in having Christ formed in me. My involvement in ministry (using ministry in the narrow sense of service to the body of Christ) needs to be seen in light of an overall way of life designed to help me become transformed. If it is not doing this, something, somewhere, has gone wrong.

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