Churches often seem to use a certain means for accomplishing ministry such as:
a certain strategy … programming
a certain style … methodology
a certain sensation … technology, lighting, emotion
a certain spotlight … targeting or focusing on specific people or needs
Churches will often have leanings in one of these directions more than others. Is that a good or bad thing? I know I have seen God use these various means to draw different people to Himself. Perhaps the question isn’t whether it is good or bad. Maybe it is more a question of what we are relying on — whether or not we are relying on these means to accomplish ministry more than we are relying on God.
Think about the means your church tends to lean toward and then determine whether or not you are relying on that more than God. Perhaps the following thoughts will help you in this assessment:
God can’t be contained in a building (2 Chron. 6:18) so let’s be careful we don’t box Him in to working in our midst only through certain ministry programs. When we do, we are relying more on programming than on Him.
God exercises great variety and design as seen in the creation of the world (Gen. 1) so let’s be careful we don’t pigeonhole God into working only through a certain style or form. When we do, we are relying more on methodology than on Him.
God Himself stirs up within people an awe and passion because of how great He is so let’s be careful we don’t give the impression that we must work ourselves into a particular feeling in order to be able to worship or relate with Him. When we do, we are relying more on contrived measures than on God Himself.
God has targeted specific groups of people throughout history yet He never turned away those who truly sought after Him (Jer. 29:13; Prov. 8:17) so let’s be careful we don’t get so narrow in our ministry that we turn away those He is drawing to Himself. When we do, we are relying more on our specialization than on Him.
While God might use these various means, we must always look to Him as the Source, Strength, Sustainer, and Savior … not our strategies or style, not the sensations we generate, and not by putting the spotlight on a group or need.