Ministry falls short when we are always the one giving.
Connecting, bonding, blessing and being blessed is always about the giving going two ways.
Yet for many in leadership within the church this basic principle is missed. Instead of receiving from those we minister to we arrange relationship so that we are the only ones (allowed) to give.
Of course none of this is said out loud. But it shows up regardless. And it is offensive.
To build an open door for words and impact in others lives we must first receive. In receiving from others we honor what they have to give, what they are about, and the unique wisdoms they offer.
What do they have that we do not have? What are their spiritual gifts that are meant to bless us? Have we put ourselves into a position where our basic needs can be ministered to by them?
If not, we are holding ourselves above and creating a divide.
At Capturing Courage when I travel to a village and a congregation I stay with someone right there who is willing to keep me.
Where I lay my head is determined by others, what I eat is determined by others. The rhythm of my days are determined by others.
When I need to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night, or need hot water for bathing, I am dependent on the provision and generosity of others. If they won’t feed me I wouldn’t eat.
In these basic needs that I have, and in the oversight of those who keep me, we are now on level ground.
Sure I may be the traveling minister and the honored guest, but as I am dependent on them, we are now in equal need of each other. There are no divisions. No divide.
And here is where the Kingdom of God intersects. For the body of Christ is all about mutual edification. It is why I ask, ‘Do you put yourself into positions where you are dependent on those you serve?’
In Luke 10:1-9 we have a beautiful template for building the church. Given by Jesus himself we are advised, among other things, to enter those homes that will keep us, to receive the food they give us.
Sure, we may have great spiritual news for them, but first, we allow our basic needs to be met by them.
We position ourselves so.
This isn’t about condescension that pretends to need, this is about our real needs.
The prophet Elijah was told to live with a widow.
(Remember, the widows of Elijah’s day were the most destitute of the land)
What would it take for you to put your sustenance into the hands of a widow?
What might you have to lay down to enter into such an arrangement?
What shift would need to happen in your inner person to receive in such a way?
This, that shift, is the Kingdom of God come to our own hearts, and it is only in this that we are truly equipped to pass on the goodness of God to others.
Receive the touch of God from others first and you will have all the permission,opportunity, and open doors necessary to touch others for God.
It is as simple and as difficult as this.