Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Realistic Ministry

Often ministry has unrealistic expectations. Ministers expect that they can transform their congregations at speeds far past what is possible.

In many congregations the church begins to stagnate because the leadership has unrealistic beliefs about sanctification and spiritual growth. Instead of having a church full of sick people needing transformation there is now a church full of sick people who either hide their sickness or are unaware of their sickness.

The problem with unrealistic expectations by ministers is that people quickly feel judged. And they pull back from bringing up any issue in the church or their lives. The unrealistic expectations often have a highly negative impact on spiritual growth.

In ministry a balance is needed between expecting people will grow and also realizing the depth of the problems in the human condition. Jesus demanded growth but always met the truly authentic sinner with grace and compassion.

That should be the spirit of ministry. To not be surprised by the depth of sin in the world but to meet it with compassion and understanding and desire to transform us into the image of Jesus.
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