Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Outward Ministry Driven By Inner Growth

I have been reading from A Guide To Prayer For All God's People published by the Upper Room. This was in my reading for today.

The sense of connection between inner growth and outer change permeates the Christian understanding of reality. St. Paul was an activist of the first order. Every time he entered a new place he created major disruptions, but his activism was the fruit of the relationship he enjoyed with the living Christ. The great hymns of praise that seem to burst out in epistle after epistle are a testimony to the reality of this relationship. The ministries of Mother Teresa in the slums of Calcutta or of Martin Luther King in the streets of Montgomery, or of the countless people whose faith has touched your life and mine and indeed has affected the life of the world are expressions of lived prayer. These people went deep enough in prayer to embrace life with some degree of abandon. These inner experiences literally drove them in ministry to others.

                --from Invitation to Holiness by James C. Fenhagen

1 comment:

RevCRM said...

It is important for us to reach out to others in the community and world. And yet, the deepest challenges for ministry are often those which occur within our own lives and our families. It is easier to minister to people who see you as a minister. It is more difficult to work with those who see you as their daughter, sister, brother, cousin, or some other family or social relationship that is not tied to ministry.

So, we must ask ourselves does my family see the love I have for God? Is this love shown to them whenever we gather and talk? Do I listen or preach to them? Do I value or judge them? Do I encourage or remind them of their inadequacies? Who we are when we are with our families, creates an image for them of who God is or will be to them. Who are we SHOWING them that God is? Are we reflecting acceptance and the notion that you are "good" and valued. Or a we reflecting judgement and the notion that you will never be good enough? These are the thoughts that I have and live with each day, though not always consciously.