A Successful Christian Ministry

God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.-John 4:24

I would like to start with the subject of failure. Unfortunately it is something that we encounter quite frequently. We jokingly say that it has become an unspoken prerequisite  for anyone who wants to work in this ministry. They have to be people who are willing to fail.

In our ministry, we are asking people to make a radical change in their lives. Very few people are willing drop everything they have and have known for something radically new and uncertain. Albeit, they are living in the streets and for most of us, a change in this situation would be a no-brainer. However, let’s look at the same situation from a different perspective. Let’s say your friend is a millionaire and is obsessed with work to the point that it is destroying his personal life. He needs to radically change his life. Most likely, he must choose between giving up his luxurious and wealthy lifestyle for something simpler or die a sad rich man. It is a no-brainer, but we know what the majority of the people would choose. Most people would prefer to have the best of both worlds. To change one’s life, one has to give up things of the past to move into the future. Not many are willing to do this even when things are certain. However, the straight and narrow path towards Life is not a certain and easy path.  Jesus said that only few will choose the narrow road so we know from the beginning that our ministry is not going to be very successful in the material sense. We are not going to bring a busload of people through the narrow road of Life. It is doomed to failure; so then, why bother doing it? Well, it is about worship. We are in the streets to worship God. Perhaps it is quite unconventional to think about service as worship. However, when Jesus said that God is Spirit, He drastically changed the way we are to worship God.

God who is Spirit is not confined in space and time. This means that the presence of God is not limited to the temple or churches. He is present everywhere and He is present nowhere specifically. There is not a place that can contain Him fully and everywhere is the place and time for us to seek and meet Him. Worship is an encounter with God. If God is everywhere, then every encounter with Him leads to worship. Proper worship is to honor and glorify the presence of God.

Our worship of the God who is Spirit needs to change our idea of success. It cannot be a superficial change. It has to be a true and profound change in the way we understand the world. So, how do I gauge success? Well, the point of worship is to encounter God in our reality. The encounter should change our perception of reality to see the Truth. The Truth is that the very essence of God is Love. His presence, therefore, emanates Love so much so that it changes the environment. We cannot recognize this loving Presence if we ourselves are not intoxicated with this Love. We need to know first that God loves us and then this helps us to identify His loving presence in the streets. It also shapes the way we work in the streets. This Love informs us how to serve those who living in the streets. In a way, it is not necessary that we see any physical success as much as we desire that personally. It is more important to see that God is present and in His presence, Love is always manifested. It is the knowledge of this Love that enriches our lives. This is the meaning of a successful life in Christ Jesus.