Monday, August 09, 2010


A team of four just broke the record set in 1896. They crossed the Atlantic in a rowboat. It took them 44 days, eleven fewer than it has ever been done before. Of course, they had more gadgetry on board, too. Unlike previous crossings they had advanced communications and tracking devices. They had up-to-the-minute weather reports. Solar panels generated electricity. This was not your father's row boat, to be sure. But in the end, none of that sophisticated technology got them from one side of the ocean to the other. As the team captain said, "Every bit of technology that we had seemed to break. In the end it came down to four men and four oars." Four men. Four oars. Lots of rowing. That is the formula.

Ministries today are blessed with more gadgetry than at any other time in history. PowerPoint. Email. Acrylic pulpits. Mixing boards. But in the end it comes down to rowing. What is "rowing" in a ministry context? Loving people to Christ. The way it is put in our mission statement is: effectively reaching out to unchurched people in love, acceptance and forgiveness so that they may experience the joy of salvation and a purposeful life of discipleship. The most basic thing we have to offer is salvation through Jesus Christ. Not marital or financial advice, though sometimes this is needed. Not 10 steps to a better (fill in the blank), though sometimes this is helpful. In the end it is about seeing as many people as possible, as quickly as possible, come to a life-altering relationship with Jesus. Every person matters. Every person deserves to be loved. Reaching out effectively in love, acceptance and forgiveness is hard work. So hard, in fact, that many ministers prefer the digital to the personal. But the kingdom of God advances one person at a time.