October 28, 2013

There Are No "Silver Bullets"

We all want the "silver bullet."

We all want that one idea, that one program, that approach or equation which will pack 'em in, heighten participation, increase membership.

But here's the honest truth: there are no silver bullets.

Christian ministry ends up being more of an art than a science.

Silver bullet approaches assume that context is meaningless. They assume that the individuals, the gifts and specific calling of a particular community and its members is inconsequential. Silver bullets are, therefore, unbiblical. For example, take the various conversations that Jesus has with individuals in the Gospels. The good news of the kingdom is delivered, explained, announced in as many different ways as there are different individual conversations.

The Samaritan woman, Zacchaeus, Nicodemus, or the rich young ruler. All different.

To deny to critical nature of each relationship, each particular place is to deny that there is a God wholly invested in the redemption, the transformation of every corner of the globe.

Here's what I do know: God is showing up in your life. God is showing up in your neighborhood. Whether you see it or not, this is happening. The challenge is learning to be conscious of this, naming it and celebrating it. The more you learn to do this, the more you discover the redemptive potential of whatever it is you are being beckoned towards.

It is sometimes frustrating for folks when "silver bullet" approaches aren't advocated. At times, I feel like a broken record, touting, "listen to God, listen to your context, you'll figure out what you're supposed to be doing." It seems simple. Too simple. Not sexy enough. But this I know: this is an incredibly challenging and complex approach. The better you think you get, the more you realize you need to learn.

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