Today at church, we welcomed Gary Alloway to join the pastoral staff at The Well. He had been an intern at The Well for about two years. It is very rewarding to see how God has opened these doors for Gary and I am personally grateful for Gary and his leadership/friendship. For his official induction to The Well as a pastor/elder, Gary taught today.
Before this service, Gary went across Europe for a month, which helped him prepare for what he was about to teach. I have been looking forward to hearing some of what God had shown him. He decided that going back to the basics of why we do ministry would be an appropriate sermon this morning; I could not agree more.
The passage that we studied was a well-known passage (Luke 9). Jesus asks the disciples who the crowds say He is. He then asks who they think He is. Peter says, “You are the Christ, the Son of God.” When we consider the importance of ministry, we must first come to the realization that Christ is Lord. When we come to consider Christ as Lord, everything seems to fit in place. Ministry must start at this point. Even though this is a basic understanding of the Bible and of our faith, we must constantly come back to the basics. As an example, Gary asked, “How many of us really know the love of God?” It is a basic understanding that Christ loves us. Unfortunately, many of us do not live as though Christ truly does love us and cares about us. Gary continues saying, “If we would sit in the love of God, I swear our lives would change.” I agree with him.
I do not think we have come to the true understanding that Jesus is Lord. Gary said that oftentimes, we see God as the ‘cool parent.’ In that, he means that God allows us to do whatever we want, like a parent who allows a child to get away with whatever he wants. God is not a ‘cool parent’ though. He is God. He is Lord. If we really saw Jesus as Lord, I wonder how that would truly change us. I am sure we would care more about our actions both private and public. We need to get back to the basics. We need to remember that Jesus is Lord.
The other aspect of ministry Gary shared was Jesus’ focus on the cross. He shared, “Ministry centers around the truth of the cross.” As we continue to know who Jesus is, we must learn what the mindset of Christ is – thus, the importance of the cross is central to His message. The cross is offensive and maintains its integrity throughout history. We must never lose sight of a message that is so important.
As I sit and reflect on the message, I have to continually look to Christ and the cross. It is a balance I desperately need to maintain for myself. Perhaps one day, the balance of Christ and the cross will become a saturated message both in myself and within the body of Christ. I praise God for all that Christ has done in my life. God bless.