THE MINISTRY IS SERIOUS BUSINESS!
- It proclaims a serious message
- It requires serious humility
Based on Luke 17:1-10
“So, Pastor, what are you going to do to grow this church?” The new pastor was a bit surprised to receive this question from a member of his new congregation on his first Sunday. He sensed a presumption in the question that he was supposed to have some kind of silver bullet or magic formula that would make the ministry flourish there. In light of what he sensed, he answered this practical question with a theological answer. “What are you going to do to grow this church?” The pastor responded, “Preach the gospel!”
Setting aside any assumptions about silver bullets and magic formulas, it certainly isn’t inappropriate to be thinking about the ministry today, especially as we begin our relationship together as pastor and congregation. I would imagine that when I arrived at my previous congregations, people had their own questions. What was my ministry going to look like? What kind of pastor would I be? Would the kind of pastor I would be line up with their expectations or hopes? Those questions are fair questions. They were fair questions for people to ask five and fifteen years ago when I arrived at my two previous parishes. They were fair questions thirteen years ago when Pastor Helwig arrived at Crown of Life. And they are fair questions this weekend as your newly installed pastor begins his ministry to this congregation.
This is a natural occasion for us to think about the ministry. In the Gospel for this week, Jesus’ words contain helpful thoughts as we begin our ministry together as new associate pastor and congregation. Even though Jesus wasn’t speaking directly about the ministry in Luke 17, we’ll find a good deal of direction and encouragement about the ministry in these verses. Today’s Gospel teaches us that the ministry is serious business. It’s serious business because the ministry proclaims a serious message, and it requires serious humility. Read More…