Pastoral Pondering – 5-25-2016

Good day everyone! How is God using you in ministry today?  I pray you are making a positive impact upon the kingdom of God wherever you are today. It is more about how you are using what you are doing today for God than God showing you something to do

Take some time to consider the following excerpt from today’s devotional thought from Richard Rohr. I know it will make you think about how we are doing ministry wherever we are today.

Study, Jesus’ instructions to the twelve disciples, when he sent them into society in a very vulnerable way (no shoes or wallet, like sheep among wolves). How did we miss this? Note that it was not an intellectual message as much as it was an “urban plunge,” a high-risk experience where something new and good could happen. It was designed to change the disciples much more than it was meant for them to change others! (See Matthew 10:1-33 or Luke 10:1-24.) Today we call it a reverse mission, where we ourselves are changed and helped by those whom we think we are serving.

When read in light of classic initiation patterns, Jesus’ intentions are very clear. He wanted his disciples–then and now–to experience the value of vulnerability. Jesus invites us to a life without baggage so we can learn how to accept others and their culture. Instead, we carry along our own country’s assumptions masquerading as “the good news.” He did not teach us to hang up a shingle to get people to attend our services. He taught us exactly the opposite: We should stay in their homes and eat their food! This is a very strong anti-institutional model.

So, the question we each need to consider today is how are we experiencing the value of vulnerability. How is God asking you to take a plunge into the mission field around you? I reprint a portion of the passage from the gospel of Luke here for you to consider. I do so because sometimes we get caught up in how the ministry is going to benefit us and how our churches are going to grow by filling up the pews. God has so much more for us to do that has nothing to do with filling pews or attendance statistics for the local church. We need to extend the kingdom of God and look for ways to demonstrate the power and authority of God over all things.

Luke 10:17-20  The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.”

He [Jesus] replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.  I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”

God bless you as we journey together and serve God making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.

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