Consumer ministry?

A thought crossed my mind in a discussion yesterday: to what
degree should a minister resist giving people what they want in favour of
giving people what is good for them? Both ends of the spectrum are easy enough
to rule out. First because it is patronising to believe that I always know
better than other people what is best for them and that they are not in a
position to take responsibility for that themselves. Second because someone set
aside for a ministry of ‘perfecting the saints’ is always going to find
occasions when they feel called to say and do things which are not popular.

 


The difficulty is knowing where the balance is particularly
in a culture where people are encouraged to pick and choose what meets their
particular needs.

One thought on “Consumer ministry?

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  1. That really depends on the congregation. If the people to whom you are delivering your message are raring to go and get out there for God, then the choice is simple, you give them both as they are one and the same.
    If they are comfortable where they are, are not serving the Gospel and services are becoming stale due to action, of the members or even the Holy Spirit, then they definitely need a spiritual kick up the backside to get effectual for God. Sadly, that is almost definitely not going to be what they want to hear!

    Ministers/Pastors/christian terminology for the leaders of the church are called to shepherd their flock, and are held accountable for their spiritual welfare – as their leader.
    Therefore, the problem does not come when you feel patronising to know what is better, the problem comes in having the courage to exercise the responsibility of the position that God has given you in that Church – to lead them to Him, and to serve Him effectively in the messages you bring.

    I agree with your view of today’s culture, and while we need to be culturally savvy (for a fab read check out “The Culturally Savvy Christian” by Dick Staub), that should not be our focus.
    While Jesus’ ministry was culturally relevant, it was very much counter-cultural in the ideas and visions he brought to the table as the incarnation of the Most High.
    Therefore, as it stands, whilst giving the message which you know your congregation may not want to, but should hear, you should trust that if you are giving the message that God wants you to give (which I would very much hope that you are), then how people deal with it individually is out of your hands, it is between them and God

    Like

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