Equipping Your Reimagine Journey
[ personal and corporate prayer ]
Prayerlessness has plagued the church throughout the centuries of its existence. Anything less than whole-hearted prayer is detrimental to one’s life and ministry. At every stage in life and ministry, I have found it of extreme importance to return to the Scripture to seek the face of God for a clearer biblical focus. This is crucial because of changes in mindset, ministry setting, increasing challenges, and culture. It is a constant need to seek Spirit-led reimagination of the teaching and application of Scripture and creative approaches to ministry.
Even the most flexible, spontaneous, creative people run the risk of idolizing their practices and approaches. Those who have been involved in one local church for an extended period of time, tend to appreciate creativity within the boundaries of the box of their comfort zone. To stretch people beyond that, even to a more biblical focus, can be costly. Sadly, in the local church, you find pastors who fear the status quo more than they fear God. The key is to maintain a healthy fear of God and to pursue intimacy with Him. Then, if you are truly led by the Holy Spirit, the reward is worth the risk. A key question you should ask is: “Is this change for the sake of change and the expression of your creativity, or is this change for the sake of Christ and the extension of His kingdom?”
The current issues within the culture should cause us to sort out that which has been a cultural Christianity from that which is scriptural Christianity. Our mandate from Christ does not shift and change with the culture. The Word of God is to be preached, the church is to pray, and the lost should be reached. As one reconsiders mindsets and methods, it should be done cautiously and carefully. There is a fine line between creativity and compromise.
Conformity to the culture is counterproductive in maintaining Christlikeness and obedience to His commission. The fallacy within the mindset of many churches is: “If we become like the world, the world will want to become like us.” However, it is the church that is to be the change-agent by practicing a Christlike lifestyle, compassionate community, and Scriptural methods.
Tragically, the word "reimagine" has become a political talking-point within the culture of the United States. To scripturally reimagine ministry methods means to move toward the Scripture in approaches, attitudes and activities with a balance of conviction and compassion.
In some cases, the church has attempted to minister to a culture that no longer exists. Immersion in a vast array of church organizations and activities has bordered on a monastic withdrawal from interaction with the lost culture. Lostness is consistent in its depravity, but in its expressions there is variety. This occurs in stages of societal declension. The moral and spiritual declension in our day remains a desperate challenge which must be addressed by the gospel of Jesus Christ.
One major failure in reimagining ministry has been the overestimation of programs and the underestimation of prayer. To spend extended time in detailed reimagining apart from extensive time in desperate prayer could take a ministry on a detrimental detour. The key to reimagining ministry is the very key that has been lost by many ministry leaders and local churches. That is the key of living a lifestyle of prayer.
We pray in the atmosphere of life, but Jesus lived in the atmosphere of prayer. The key is not a heightened focus on the culture, but a deepened focus on Christ. To walk with Him is to see the world through His eyes, and to bear the burden of His heart, which leads to a Christlike reimangining of life and ministry that pleases Him.
Begin on your face before God, and nurture a life of intimacy with Him. It is His ministry through you, not your ministry for Him that has powerful potential.
There are several people from whom I have gleaned fresh thoughts and perspectives. However, I am hesitant to provide names and ministries because that may be the only takeaway from this interview for readers. We tend to have an insatiable desire for shortcuts to effectiveness. It is important that we not fall into the trap of becoming a creative clone of God’s work in someone else’s life and ministry setting. Everything must flow from intimacy with God. This includes those from whom we receive inspiration and instruction.
Prayeridigm a href="http://www.prayeridigm.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">www.prayeridigm.com> is a ministry to pastors and churches. We attempt to provide seminars, conferences, coaching, prayer guides and resources to foster prayer which results in scriptural change and strategic ministry.
Prayerfully reimagine the way in which Christ would have you to reimagine.
Father, how humbling it is to live under the weight of Your calling. It is not something You have given us to do as we will, but rather something You have placed upon us to express Your will and your ways to others. It is a holy calling of us to Yourself, and intimacy with You. Teach us what it means to minister from the overflow of this intimacy. Please forgive us for divorcing our ministry for You from intimacy with You. Please enable us to be faithful to Your calling. Guard us from duplicating Your call in the lives of others. O, how we need You to move us from a prayer life to a life of prayer!
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