If you are burdened to minister to today’s young women this episode gives you practical first and continuing steps that will lead you to be a life-giving voice of truth amongst today’s generation. Learn the top five modern ministry pitfalls and how to respond to them in a biblical and beautiful way!
1 Corinthians 11:1
What a praise that God’s Word does not need propping up with the cultural bells and whistles of modern ministry strategies of the day! Human wisdom and the “latest greatest” techniques to build a church, audience, or following will not lead women into a working knowledge of the truth that sets them free, but we do have biblical solutions for each and every area of life and can respond with the truth of God’s Word that will naturally lead to an effective ministry. In this podcast, we will discuss the top five trends in modern ministry today and the biblical responses for each one.
Top 5 Pitfalls in Modern Ministry
- Buddy-Buddy Mentality
Danger: When you’re more concerned about being friends with those you are ministering to than being a source of biblical wisdom. This can lead to a passive approach to delivering undiluted truth that leads to a watered down Gospel. While it’s not wrong to develop a friendship or encourage with those we give the hope of the Gospel to, we must remember — friendship is not the goal.
Biblical Solution: The Apostle Paul said, “Follow me as I follow Christ” (1 Cor. 11:1). Paul was so confident in what he found in God that He wanted others to know as well and wasn’t afraid to speak truth in love in order to fasten a soul to Christ. Jesus warned the Pharisees, who were the religious rulers of the day, to be careful when others spoke well of them (see Luke 6:26) because their mentality was not proclaiming truth but tickling the ears of the public with what they wanted to hear.
2. The Bells and Whistles Approach
Danger: When we capitalize on market-driven hype and implement “popular” techniques to build a following that the world uses, it can diminish truth, casting it in a light that we need to add something to truth to dress it up (i.e. think rock concerts in worship services, hip coffeeshops in church lobbies, etc.).
Biblical Solution: We do not need to compete with Hollywood to attract people to Christ — whether saved or unsaved. As we live authentic lives that align with the Word of God and show those who may be watching that we have something entirely different to live for, Christ will be seen and made much of. John 12:32 reminds us that it is Jesus and Jesus alone high and lifted up that will draw the notice of others. Be sure that you’re not watering down the message of truth in what creative means you incorporate into your ministry.
3. The “No conviction, just love” Message
Danger: This message is especially popular in women’s ministry and casts conviction in a bad light; that conviction leads to guilt and shame rather than joy and peace after receiving God’s forgiveness. The “just love” approach confuses conviction with condemnation and can cause many to be turned away from truly repenting of sin in their lives.
Biblical Response: A healthy view of conviction is necessary in seeing that it is truly the goodness of God that leads His children to repentance (see Romans 2:4). True conviction is always initiated by the Holy Spirit and leads to hope — never despair or shame — unlike condemnation which is a brutal tactic of the enemy to keep us from walking in the victory found in Christ. A healthy brokenness over sin leads to gratitude, thankfulness, love, and hope in Christ’s forgiveness.
4. Impressing External Rules vs. Championing Inner Transformation
Danger: An overemphasis on the exterior trappings of our faith can lead to a shallow walk with Christ that is based on the outflows of our love and devotion to Him rather than the Source Himself. When we focus on the “dos and don’ts” of Christianity, we are neglecting the reality that unless Jesus transforms us from the inside out, the best we can muster up and manifest to others will only be a facade.
Biblical Response: Heed Jesus’ words and cleanse the inside of the cup and the dish (your heart and soul) so that the natural byproduct will be behavior that glorifies Jesus Christ. Do this by cultivating your relationship with Christ daily and examine your motives to make sure that the desire of your life is to honor Him and not appear righteous or holy to those around you. The essence of Christianity isn’t rules but a transformed heart.
5. The Intellectual Dialogue Debate
Danger: there is a post-modern mentality that is en vogue, and that is that nobody’s right or wrong in what we believe and that we all can intellectually discuss opinions and feelings without ever coming to a biblically-based conclusion about the matter. While this may feel respectable and tactful to those who are lost or misguided in their knowledge of God’s Word, it does not produce life-change and can turn someone out of the way of truth. Jesus said that we can know the truth and that the truth alone can make us free (Jn. 8:32) … but if we never give those we are witnessing to an opportunity to hear the truth, we are only allowing them to continue in their bondage.
Biblical Response: The Bible boldly states that we are to let God be true and every man a liar (see Romans 3:4). Our position is to allow the Bible to remain clear about what it does and doesn’t say and let others take or leave that truth as they will. Don’t give sway to trends that discount and discredit uncompromised truth. Bring everything to align with Scripture, and if a mentality, opinion, book, etc. doesn’t agree with what God’s Word makes clear, we are to disregard it.
Always remember the problems of humanity and their solutions are always the same. The problem is sin and the solution is the pure, simple Gospel! We can take courage and confidence that the Word of God has an answer for every difficult situation, every unique need, and every request because it is living and active and just as powerful today as it has been all throughout history.
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