“What’s the biggest challenge that you face in ministry today as a Pastor?”
I am asked this question so many times. They would more often be expecting answers like financial crisis, fundamentalist groups, cultural issues, opposition from the Old school mindset and many of those which might look like a problem.
So the other day, a Pastor asked a few friends who missed Church on Sunday, “what happened bro?” And most of them were like, “Oh Pastor I am not keeping well.” So, the Pastor replied, “I will be praying.” And miraculously one of them was at work the next Monday morning and the other guy rushed to college quite early. Pastors have such powerful prayers you know!!! On another occasion, one guy was very sincere, when he missed Church, the only excuse left was, “I am sorry I slept off.”
It is heights, when people miss Church because of rains, and sing the next Sunday, “with Christ in my vessel I can smile at the storm.” Likewise so many funny stories.
But when they come, they don’t leave. So it’s fun working with them. Maybe the Church at large and the leadership has also missed the point of not reflecting Christ at all times, which we must.
So into my 14th year of Christian ministry, I am once more convinced with what the Bible says in Revelation 3:16 – ”So, because you are lukewarm – neither hot nor cold – I am about to spit you out of my mouth.” The biggest problem in Church today is being lukewarm. On the other hand, the heroes of the first century Church were men and women of faith, who were on fire for Jesus. One of my Pastors would often remind the congregation, “either be on fire for Jesus, or burn out for Jesus.” So while being lukewarm, one not only affects the health of the Church, but brings enough damage in their area of influence as well. A lukewarm Christian is as dangerous as a fruitless fig tree.
Perhaps the challenges in life has overhauled our relationship with God. Surely, I don’t believe – going to Church makes us a saint, but it’s for sure, a place of reminder in this fast paced life, of what God has done and can do. Bible says in Hebrew 10:25 – “not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Life is fast and things are tough. Young people today are bogged down with so much pressure for grades and paycheck. In midst of all this, they need a release point – finding comfort in God. It’s my prayer that Church becomes that place where they can connect with God and enjoy their journey of life.
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