Just last week, a prospective church asked me to BRIEFLY write my philosophy of ministry.
This posed quite the challenge for Meredith and I.
Not because we don't have ideas and methods that we believe allows ministry to be most effective, but because we had to do it BRIEFLY!
But here it is. We tried our hardest to give the church an idea of who we were while emphasizing our strong love, desire, and heart to see families working together to fulfill the Great Commission.
At the age of 15, God placed a call on my life to surrender wholly to full-time ministry. Since that fateful day, as a young teenager, my passion and surrender to ministry has never wavered. My ideas and philosophy of ministry, however, has altered, grown, and deepened with each opportunity, as I strive to minister more and more as Jesus would have. While I do not have all the answers, and while I continue to learn more and more about how to reach the unreachable, I am encouraged as I strive to do ministry as simply as possible, and with one main target in mind – the family.
Typically, in most American churches, ministry venues are segregated - Children, youth, singles, seniors, etc. But in recent years, I have studied Reggie Joiner’s Think Orange concept and have come to agree with it. No longer should ministries function as separate entities, but rather, we should be placing our focus on putting all ministry areas under one banner – the family. I believe it is the responsibility of every minister to use his/her ministry focus as a portal to reaching the entire family. God has established the family as the first institution. Therefore it is our responsibility and privilege to equip the family in biblical truth and discipleship methods in order to change the world for Jesus Christ.
The children’s minister has the opportunity to use his/her influence with young children as an avenue to reaching that child’s entire family. A recreation pastor has the chance to show the love of Christ to mom, dad, sister, and brother, through youth summer soccer programs, adult basketball leagues, or running the church gymnasium. No matter the calling, each minister should use his specific focus of ministry to help reach an entire family.
In my personal calling to students, I have tried to focus every intent, activity, and event with the purpose in mind of reaching the entire family. During summer camps, I encourage parents to come to early morning prayer meetings at the church to specifically pray over their student. I give parents curriculum parallel to what students are learning, in hopes that continued study will go on within the home. I have sought counsel from a youth parent advisory board, set in place to keep me accountable and be the voice of parents. These activities, and others, are just examples of ways I have had the opportunity to see my philosophy of ministry put to work.
It has been said that if you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time. It is my desire to not only set in place a direct purpose for ministry, but to aim at hitting it with excellence. As I strive to use my God-given opportunities to reach families for Jesus Christ, I am setting in place opportunities for God to change an entire generation.