18 Sep, 2010 The risk of returning to outreach ministry
My own bias, which my study and experiences have led me to, is that Jesus really was Who He claimed to be – God’s Son, and the only Saviour for the people of this world. What is a fitting or right response to this belief? This is the question that has been bugging me for years. Like a person who knows where a bountiful supply of water is when surrounded by a multitude dying of thirst in a desert – its the kind of knowledge that requires some selfless action. I feel compelled in life to do something – and to do something more than I am already too.
About two years ago Heather and I found ourselves reflecting on what we wanted to accomplish in life. We realised that at this point in life – if we were somehow to pass away, or Christ was to return (a Christian belief that Jesus will return to ‘in-gather’ Christians before wrapping up this season in history) – that we would have regrets, for we had not shared Christ clear enough with many whom we love in New Zealand. To fail in this was, for us, too great a hypocrisy, given what we believe. This whole thought was a revelation to us – for until then we’d not thought directly of returning to New Zealand as our next ‘ministry’ step.
There is much a person can do as a ‘pastor’ to help others, but nothing compares to the importance or privilege of sharing Christ with those who haven’t understood about Him yet – even though that is a huge challenge to do in a relevant or relatable way in the current western environment. I knew at that point that moving on from working as a pastor was necessary for me. I think others can work in a Church with Christians, and do a good job – but I realised, for sure, that I’d rather be in the world actually sharing about the great ‘product’ we have – eternal hope, unconditional love, significance, LIFE, and purpose. Indeed, it is a risk to ‘cast our bread upon the waters’ (a biblical proverb referring to the risk of entering the merchant shipping trade), but I felt the benefits of doing so outweighed the risks.
What about you?
“How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent?” Romans 10:14
“Cast your bread upon the waters, for after many days you will find it again.” Ecclesiasties 11:1