For the last five years I’ve been doing a project on the side that represents something I once swore I would never do. I’ve been publishing a monthly newsletter that lets people know what’s going on that would be of interest to the local Christian community; and with our twin-towns having a population of less than 40,000; there often isn’t much going on at all, and the whole project seems hardly worthwhile.
Years ago, I met a guy — I think his name was Bill Scarborough — who published the Christian Activities Calendar magazine in several cities. At the time I thought the whole thing was rather pedestrian. Why not produce a magazine that does outreach, or discusses doctrine, or deals with youth and family issues?
But now I do the same thing. The newsletter still goes out, but we modified a blog page to get online quickly. It’s filled with concerts, car washes, bake sales, conferences, church picnics and lots of advertising for our local Christian bookstore. It would be easy for someone to say I should be using that energy for evangelism, or theological discussion, or examining parenting and marriage issues.
But nested in between the seminars and the fundraisers and the singles events there are often things that are worthy of reaching a greater audience, often put together by people who aren’t connected or established or loaded with the money it often takes to make things happen.
I just finished watching the first two parts of a four-part series on DVD by Andy Stanley called Playing God and it reminds me of the need to use whatever power and influence I may have to help those who have even less. His example in Part Two was Jesus stripping himself (literally) of his status and position to wash His disciples feet.
When it comes to these new or unknown or untried or unproven ventures I think my goal is obvious:
- We need to promote them
- We need to elevate them
- We need to resource them
To me, if the premise is valid and the doctrinal convictions of the organizers are sound and the spiritual benefit to the participants will be real; then I want to be seen as someone lending support. Just as the business world has “incubators” for new ventures, so also do we need to incubate local ministry providers who want to serve the communities where we live.
We need to celebrate that in this chaotic world, there are individuals who are still willing to get their hands dirty in ministry; still willing to risk failure; still willing to attempt new ministry start-ups.
I don’t want be a skeptic sitting on the sidelines waiting to see if it will happen. I want to make it happen.
Right now there are people in your town who are starting something or dreaming a dream or are out there in the trenches doing real ministry who need your support. Whatever power and influence you have, use it to share the spotlight or pass the torch to those who will follow after. Especially those next-generation projects that are so easily dismissed by the “religious establishment” as non-consequential.
What will you do to help ministries where you live?
If you want to see what our “Coming Events” site looks like you can click here. If you don’t have one of these in your community, why not start one?