This week I was reminded that ministry is and should be messy. In just the last few months I’ve met with people that are addicted to drugs and alcohol, with women involved as prostitutes and strippers, with people contemplating suicide and abortions, with couples involved in affairs and considering divorce. Then on top of that are the normal relational and financial dificulties that many are going through.
I relish the opportunity to speak with these people because what they really need is a relationship with Jesus. They come in looking for quick fixes, but often leave with something far deeper and more powerful…forgiveness of their sins and the Holy Spirit living in them wanting to change them on a daily basis into the image and likeness of Christ. Unfortunately, many times these people though want to continue figuring things out for themselves…they’re not yet ready to surrender to Jesus and I/we still need to love them and help them in the midst of their mess.
Honestly, sometimes that can be draining. Sometimes it’s tempting to want to quit and give up. Ever felt that way? What I remind myself of though is this…when ministry isn’t messy, you’re not really doing anything for God. Jesus has called the church not to be a sanctuary for the saints, but rather a hospital for sinners. If on Sunday’s everybody’s got it all together, that’s not a sign of a spiritually mature church, it’s the sign of an immature church because they’ve gotten off mission.
So pray with me that every week we’d smell smoke and alcohol on people, that people still coming off a high from Saturday night would stumble through the halls, that couple’s barely speaking to one another would sit in our chairs, and that others in the midst of destructive sin would show up. Remember, we can’t expect non-Christians to act like Christians until they become one. So one of our core values is, “No Perfect People Allowed”. So let’s accept them without neccisarily approving of their actions…let’s show them the love of Christ and then let’s pray that they will accept his offer of forgivenss and new life!