The Missing Ingredient in Ministry

Have you ever tasted something and thought to yourself, “something’s missing?” Maybe that piece of chicken that needs salt or pepper. Maybe that salad that needs some ranch. Maybe that cup of coffee that although you drink it black, you just have a craving for a little creamer and sugar.question-mark-2

When an ingredient is missing, you can tell. It’s just a feeling you get that you need to add something to make something what it should be. It makes it better. 

What’s the missing ingredient in ministry in the West? 

Is it our programs? It can’t be. We have the best programs. Is it that we don’t have facilities? No, we have them. Is it a lack of education? No, we are over educated. Is it that we don’t have power from the Holy Spirit? Well, that may be true. But we can look at the book of Acts and find the church didn’t just sit around waiting for power from on high. They did that. And power did come. BUT THEN, they moved on and did things. But what was the ingredient found in the nuts and bolts of church life. What was it that caused life transformation? 

Let’s go ahead and assume the obvious. We must have Holy Spirit power to do the ministry. But what else brought life change? 

I’ve learned in Acts they always met in groups small enough for significant, long term relationships to be developed. 

The missing ingredient in the church is “relationships.” Our system is not set up to build long term, authentic relationships. We are a culture packed with events. And don’t get me wrong, obviously high impact events make a difference on getting people through the front door. But events are not what keep people in a church. 

Are you and is your church designing life changing, transformational post event experiences for people to gather and do life on life discipleship? Where in your church do you ever eat with a few people and hear their story? 

The missing ingredient in Sunday School or example is relationship building. It’s not teaching. We have that. We need the relationship angle. 

 Start a life group in your Sunday School class. Make it work with those who desire and thirst for righteousness. Feed them, then hang out with them over a spiritual discussion. Talk about applying the Sunday message. Pray for on another. Have a share time. Give yourself a night when you do nothing but build relationships in your church. Then teach a few other to do it. Then have them start a life group out of your class as a part of your class. 

What you’re doing is challenging people to make disciples like Jesus did. You are replacing so called “care groups” with “Life Groups.” Instead of having a monthly fellowship that is really a superficial social event, fellowship weekly. You don’t have to do it year round. Go 8-10 weeks and provide a get off the train opportunity.

If you do something life this, you will become closer with your class. You will immediately be a reproducing small group leader as well as a teacher. You will feel like you are making disciples the Jesus way. He took 12 and rubbed shoulders with them for 3 years.

Lately, I’ve come to realize that most people have no real relationships in their lives. They are hurting and the church in the west does not have an opportunity for them to connect and share. We put them in our programs and ask them to come and listen.

The missing ingredient is you and me. It’s relationships. It’s time doing life with people so closely that we can see their pain. Or, we can mentor them to be leaders. Leaders who are able to invest in others. (2 Tim. 2:2)

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