One of my favorite movies is based around the phrase “if you build it they will come” (Field of Dreams), and the Lord is teaching me that phrase has ministry implications as well.
In mid-June when the school year ended I decided to have a summer break for some children’s ministries, in particular the Bible Club that was held on weekday afternoons at 3:00 since children weren’t coming home from school during that time. While there may have been one or two attendees sometimes usually it wasn’t worth the work since often nobody came.
There is a sense where my Bible Club decision was based on a popular principle for Christian Ministries; don’t begin a work until there is a great need or call for it. In other words, if all the kids are coming home from school at 3:00 then you should definitely have Bile Club at that time. The flip side of that coin however says if there isn’t a real need for the ministry, then don’t do it.
There’s definitely wisdom in this principle since missionaries cannot meet every need that surrounds them, but it also keeps us from launching new ministries.
Launching new ministries is almost always a step of faith because there aren’t huge crowds clamoring for it. Instead you start with one or two people (if any) and slowly build from there.
Between you and me I would rather focus on established ministries because they’re a lot easier and people are used to them. It’s just second nature for kids to race themselves to the Church after school for Bible Club since they are used to it, and of course ministering to a crowed of 12 to 18 children is a blessing.
But launching new ministries brings more Glory to God
- Since the ministry doesn’t bring glory to myself (no large crowds)
- It develops patience and requires hard work
- For the most part the kids who come there will truly want to be there
- New ministries are almost never launched in our own strength so it will take much prayer
Yesterday afternoon I officially started afternoon Bible Clubs again even though a big part of me didn’t expect anyone to come.
The Lord blessed by bringing four boys, but the fact is faithfully ministering even though the room is empty takes more character than ministering to a full one.