Most church planters say that people will only go to a specific church if it is within a 10-15 minute drive, has adequate parking, the programs they desire and can identify with its music and message. This research and training clearly help define the layout of its structures, development of its ministry programs, its means of funding and its mode of presenting its message. When these criteria are met people recognize it as a church. Such location based ministries are essential to the development of vibrant faith in our land.
These ministries do not need buildings, or be concerned with traveling distance. They thrive on the fellowship of common pursuit, the joint worship of God while meeting the need of its cause, and training its participants by new methods of communication. Yet, “cause” based ministries are every bit a part of the true church, standing side by side with “location” based ministries.
Communication and Involvement Opportunities. For the majority of history the best means to communicate something was to gather people together. Now, times are changing. Added to the radio, television, phone, and printed materials, the internet is opening unexpected opportunities not only to communicate, but for involvement of many people from many locations. You can email people all over the world inexpensively, having intense and meaningful relationships. Soon this will be expanded to include a means to talk over the internet and even connect visually by web cams. Right now you can send offerings and gifts directly to the people of need within minutes without having to work with the cumbersome bureaucracies of corporate organizations or denominations. What once was a bell on top of a church tower that rang out a call to its local church members is now an internet connection that draws people together from around the world to participate in the same ministry cause.
Increase of Available Ministers. Many ministers are being reassigned by the Lord from “location” based ministries into “cause” based ministries. Discomforting things are happening to pastors and spiritual leaders everywhere that are driving them out of their pulpits. Whether they resign or are removed by a forced termination, the result is the same. They are without opportunity or desire to work in a “location” based ministry again, but retain the calling of God to serve somewhere. From the ranks of these displaced Pulpit Pastors God is raising up those who are becoming anointed Street Shepherds with a cause. Many of these Street Shepherds are beginning to see how God can use them to touch the lives of needy people that are not or cannot be addressed by the local churches. (See the definition of “The Principle of Reassignment.”)
Creative New Vision. “Cause” based ministries are limited only by the God inspired imagination. When a minister is left alone with God very exciting things can happen as they heal. Rising from the ashes of their loss they are being transformed by the healing power of their Savior. They are experiencing a renewal of their calling and being re-energized with insight into what it means to win the lost. These new visions are being expressed in the creation of new ministries and methods.
- An Expanded Understanding of the Meaning of a Storehouse. A ministry storehouse for finances is the place that you have not only chosen to support with tithes and offerings, but have chosen to actually become personally involved. It is the place where you have seen its vision as your own and you can put your hand to its plow of service. There you can give of your life, energy, prayers, talents and money in fulfillment of the great commission to go into all of the world and preach the gospel.
These legitimate “cause” based ministries are a welcomed addition to established “location” based works that have graced our land since its founding. They are serving to expand the Kingdom of God in an ever increasing complex society and meet the biblical designation of “church”.
article was very helpful and gave me insight to ministry that I never really thought about. Honestly it was life changing at the time I read it a few years ago.
In His Grace Forever,
Pastor Teddy Awad, CMHP
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