As much as I hate to admit it this picture is probably what ministry looks like to the outside world. Maybe even to some of those reading this blog entry. Most of us have seen the odd couple before. A beautiful woman walking hand in hand with a...well...quite homely looking dude. Odd couples are everywhere. And I am not sure why but it seems like it is always the guy that failed the good looking test. Let me explain why this is a picture of ministry
THE PRETTY GIRL (Matthew 25)
Activism has gotten huge this past decade. This generation is hungry to make a physical difference in the world. They are on a rampage to end poverty, human trafficking, violence, etc. I might even dare to say that activism has gotten trendy with so many actors and actresses taking the plunge at making an impact. Regardless of why, it has captured the interest of so many people and it is awesome to watch a generation look beyond themselves to help others. This is the part of our ministry that is PRETTY. Bringing hope to people physically might even bring you the world's applause, even if it is done in Jesus' name. However their appears to be a great temptation to lean heavily towards this type of ministry while letting the UGLY part fade out.
THE UGLY MAN (Matthew 28)
Making disciples throughout the entire world was the final commission of Jesus. It was a calling to do more than just help people physically. It was a calling to bring spiritual hope to people who don't know Christ. Lets face it, this part of ministry may look intolerant to some outside of the faith, and is often seen as UGLY in the world's eyes. But our mission is not to go and be intolerant. I have numerous Buddhist, Atheist, Hindu, and Animist friends. We don't hold animosity towards one another because of our different opinion, but we do enjoy discussing our beliefs with one another. To me discussing the hope of Christ with someone is the greatest act of love. I mean seriously, if we are 100% convinced that Jesus is the only hope that can save people from being separated from God/Heaven after death, then what kind of people would we be to hold that to ourselves. I realize that some Christians that have used very uncompassionate anger-filled methods that are even ugly in my book, but we can't let their mistakes keep us from making disciples.
As ministries we must be careful to never "divorce" sharing the best news on the planet (Mathew 28) from meeting the needs of the least of these (Matthew 25); no matter how unpopular it is. Some outsiders may frown and criticize our ministry efforts, but lets not forget that it because of our love for them that we do it.