These days I am thinking who do we really follow as a Church or as Ministry? Do we follow the examples of the so-called successful ministries and tele-evangelists or are we following the example of Jesus, our Lord?
What is the standard on which we measure our ministries? Is that success? Then I got worse news for all of us: Jesus was not successful at all. Do you know why?
First of all, He had no luxurious villas! He said even dogs have a hole to sleep, but the son of man has no place to lay His head. For the rest, sort it our for yourself.
Secondly, He did not have a big building in which He preached and ministered. What He had were deserts, mountains, seashores, homes and at times synagogues. For the rest figure it out yourself considering the amount of wealth some Christian leaders show off with their huge high-tech church buildings. The fact is that 95% of churches even in US, do not have such buildings, but what we see on TV are just examples of one in thousands who have the money and resources to air on expensive TV programs. What makes it even complicated is that many of the leaders today, measure their success by outward things and the things they watch on the TV Services. Jesus however, was different, He did not desire for a luxurious church building, but He realized that Church was more than a building. It was the people who made the church.
Thirdly, Jesus cannot cope up with the standard of Christian success today, because He did not need red carpets and majestic allures in order to ensure His Kingship and Lordship. He did not need the latest model chariot to enter Jerusalem. He came, riding on a donkey. Neither would He have preferred a limo and a great entourage to enter a modern day conference in a big stadium. No! That was not His standard.
Fourthly, He loved His enemies. This makes Him a very nasty leader through the standard of Christian success today. He did not need to write a 200 page book to prove that Caesar is an anti-Christ and the Battle of Armageddon is at hand or justify the zealots to attack Herod’s people, or justify a war against the Roman Empire. No! He was not like that!
Number five, His friends were drunkards, prostitutes, He was always with the sick eating and drinking with them. Nowadays as a so-called successful Christian leader, we must know some political leaders or presidents of nations must be in our list. We have forgotten the reality of loving people and not being ashamed to associate with people who are different than us. What is it all about? Is ministry measured by allure, majestic outfits, limo’s and private jets? What is happening to us? God is calling us back to the basics, back to the pure gospel; the gospel that brings salvation and joy to people. The gospel which is open enough to break the bread and drink the wine with its followers in order to fellowship and share the pains of Jesus. The gospel which stands for saving souls and at the same time helping the widows, orphans, and the migrants. The gospel who will not be ashamed to eat and drink with the “untouchables”, for they are there to be loved. The gospel, where dress, brands, cards, villas, expensive shoes will not matter at all, because the nakedness of Christ on the Cross should teach us the example of humility and love. I want to follow the gospel of Jesus Christ- the gospel that teaches to love and to care. That no man is above another, where the Jews and the Palestinians are brothers. The gospel of peace, for that will make us the sons of God.
Who do you want to follow my friend? Don’t follow me, and don’t think that what you see or read is part of my success. No! I am a mortal man, with lots of mistakes and shortcomings. Don’t imitate famous people in the TV evangelistic world. Follow Jesus. That is the safest way
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Who are we following?