Can Crooked Things Ever Be Made Straight?

The Reality of Ministry

Have you ever wished you could just get some normal people at your church?  If you could only get some people without all the baggage: wouldn’t that be so much better?

The reality of ministry is that we rarely get those kind, and really, we shouldn’t expect it to happen.  Why?  Because ministry is messy.

This is nothing new.  In fact, it was the focus of the Lord Jesus, and is actually our mandate as well.  Consider the following verses:

Matthew 9:11-13 And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto his disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners? But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick. But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice:for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

The Reality of Humanity

Crooked
Photo courtesy of Morguefile

The truth is, none of us are really all that hot.  What a shame, when those who profess Christ begin to look down on those they view as less “polished” than themselves.

I know what I am, and like the Apostle Paul, we should say that whatever we are, we are by the grace of God!

People today are all twisted into knots.  That is what sin does.  If a church family is going to reach their community we have to be ready to patiently work with these people to begin untangling the knots.

The Reality of the Process

I don’t want to over-simplify the situation or the process. However, we do not need to be in a hurry.  It takes time. People come to us with any number of tangled, confused lives.  By the way…mine still has some knots I am working on!

We are not required to clean people up before they come to Christ.  That is all backwards.  The process should look like this.

  1. Present the Gospel
  2. Begin discipling those who receive Christ.
  3. Work patiently, lovingly, and prayerfully to untangle the knots.

Any church that is effectively reaching the lost will have this process going on in multiple lives at one time.  We can’t get so busy spreading the Gospel that we don’t disciple new believers.  We can’t get focused on fixing problems that we stop spreading the gospel.  The great commission is all about the process.

  1. Go ye therefore and teach all nations. -The Gospel
  2. Baptizing them.
  3. Teaching them to observe all things, whatsoever I have commanded you. – This is discipleship and de-tangling.

The Reality of our Saviour

Sometimes people’s lives are in such disarray that we are unsure if anything can be done.  I assure you that it can. Jesus Christ is the Great Physician.  He is the Great Healer.  He is the one who ultimately does the work of restoration in the life of the believer.  He takes the old tangled mess and makes a new creation out of it.

The question is; do we believe that He can use us in the process?  I certainly do, and I encourage our church family to believe the same.  Remember, as the song says, “He’s still workin’ on me!”  And if that is true, then He will work on anyone who comes to Him.  What a Saviour!

 

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