The ills of our society, of our world, are greater than ever before. While Presidential candidates pummeled our country, society, and world, the reality is there truly are local, national and world issues that demand our attention as Christians.
At the same time, it is somewhat disconcerting as a Christian when leaders seem to set aside our Christian values in order to address perceived societal ills. As a matter of fact, when Christian leaders also set aside Christian values in favor of addressing those issues as well, it causes a conundrum as to how we proceed to think about, approach and solve them.
The conundrum was brought home to me during a recent visit to Israel. The challenges are for the Israelis as they deal with militant Palestinians and for seemingly the majority of Palestinians who want to embrace hope and live in peace. As a taxi driver once shared in Jerusalem, all of us want to live in peace, trade with each other, raise our families, and look to the future with anticipation.
Think of all the different “interested” parties involved in pursuing “peace in the Middle East” and then those who seem to have a priority in pursuing conflict and war. One element that appears to be common to all sides is that the Israeli Christians and the Palestinian Christians are both marginalized. The Israeli Christians are marginalized by the Israeli’s and the Palestinian Christians are marginalized by the Palestinians.
The issues are difficult.
When I attempt to understand the issues on both sides from a secular standpoint, it does appear virtually certain that peace will never come. So is there another path that reflects God’s character and his design for our world? Perhaps there is.
The people who are capable of reflecting God’s wisdom, power, compassion and love are Christians and followers of Jesus are on either, or both, sides of the walls that divide. Secular Judaism and Secular Palestinians both marginalize Christians including Muslim Palestinians and conservative Israelis, as well.
Without laying out the specific action plans available that will allow Christians to bring Jesus perspective to this divided land, suffice it say that without a mosaic of ministry, very little will change. As a matter of fact, it might even get worse.
Unfortunately, the challenges that face our country and most of the world are a mirror image of what I’ve described in Israel. While some of the style or features of the maladies appear quite different, the underlying issues and causes are very similar.
Greed, corruption, false pride, bombastic leadership, killing, drugs, and sexual immorality are just some of the issues. These and others have gone from problems to tearing the fabric of our society apart. As Christians become an increasing minority, the marginalization process becomes more evident. As Christian leaders attempt to remain relevant in the halls of power, the moral adjustment to the prevalent and evolving societal norms is only too clear. As you and I attempt to remain relevant to our society we are continually being challenged to adjust our values and the actions that go with them to line up with those evolving norms.
I believe that the challenge to Christians to stem the tide and reflect Jesus to our office, city, state, country and world will be worked out with a mosaic of ministry. A mosaic of ministry means that followers of Jesus address the critical issues we face with the positives of the Christian life rather than the negatives of our society.
Some radical thoughts for both here, Israel, and the world:
1. Reflect love and compassion to those who are hurting
2. Utilize God given gifts and talents to address those issues
3. Steward resources and focus on solutions
4. Express our faith in both word and deed
5. Spread the “word” effectively and efficiently
6. Be ready to change the process while protecting core values
This mosaic of ministry will attract some new ways of thinking and acting.
In future writings we will explore the ideas of being Faithful for a Lifetime and then funding the future with a Future Funded Ministry. These two perspectives will inform and impact how we implement a mosaic of ministry and change the world by changing people one at a time. After all, isn’t that the definition of “ministry”? Changed Lives!
Come with me as we impact the world with Trusted Advice.
Add your thoughts to the “comment section” and we can continue the conversation.