The world around us is changing – church and ministry are changing too.
Last week I mentioned the example of Jesus, Peter and Paul, all of whom opened up new ways, developed new paradigms which allowed more room for the glory of God to be shown and the work of God to be done.
Recently I read this article, 10 New Rules for Ministry. It is not the definitive list of what modern ministry looks like but maybe it can stimulate you to look for new ways to act, new doors to go through, new avenues for kingdom enterprise.
1. Teach accurately–with simplicity–from the Bible about topics that are relevant to people in our culture.
2. Care, really care, about people. They will know it if you don’t. The world cannot compete with real, authentic loving relationships when they are centered on Jesus. Most churches are not as good at this as they think they are. They think they are loving people when, in reality, they are still much better at judging them.
3. Do something to enhance the quality of life in your community. Being social minded helps people feel good about their church and makes it easier for them to talk about it.
4. Use media without over-using media. Cool videos can reach into someone’s world if they identify with the people and storyline, but don’t rely on multimedia to build your ministry. The world will always have better videos then you. Don’t be in love with your high-tech gadgets.
5. Speak bluntly. Don’t offend people for no reason. But sometimes you MUST say things to help them navigate the complexities of life. When you do that, some WILL be offended. Most will appreciate your courage to say what has to be said.
6. Involve the congregation in missions projects.
7. Change fast when something doesn’t work or as soon as you find a better way. No method is etched in stone.
8. Be authentic. People can smell phoney a mile away. Be honest about your own failures.
9. Be practical. What you teach either works, or it doesn’t. If it doesn’t, you will lose you audience and eventually your congregation.
10. Do something a little crazy. Shake up the status quo.
Some of these rules are newer than others but all of them represent how ministry is changing.
I’m not sure that all of these changes are for the best, but one thing is certain. Ministry IS changing.