Ministry Musings: Counter-Cultural Ministry

We like to declare that the Gospel is counter-cultural, and thereby God-given and transformative.  Should we not draw the same conclusion about ministry that is rooted in the Gospel? Isn’t our ministry supposed to be counter-cultural. too?  And the most powerful way we do this is by adopting the biblical model of ministry–of being shepherds.
     The Bible’s use of this metaphor (in both Old and New Testaments) was a way of overturning the “CEO” model of religious leadership that defined and dominated Jewish priesthood.  It made ministry relational, not regulatory–incarnational not institutional.  Ministers were to be servants, not masters.  Holiness was the watch-word, not hierarchy.  People mattered more than position and power.
     Our need for counter-cultural ministry is as great as ever.  The world experiences CEO’s all the time.  But what they are longing for is pastors–people who will show up in their valleys with rods and staffs, ready to help them make it home.

About jstevenharper

Retired seminary professor, who taught for 32 years in the disciplines of Spiritual Formation and Wesley Studies. Author and co-author of 31 books. Also a retired Elder in The Florida Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church
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One Response to Ministry Musings: Counter-Cultural Ministry

  1. Jeremy Rebman says:

    In this same vein, I find the categories of self-focused vs. mission/other-focused helpful. Is my leading directed toward fulfilling a mission, building people up, releasing people for ministry, or is it about getting my way and building up my ego? I find I must continually connect my heart with the gospel and my soul with the presence of Christ in order to lead like beyond myself.

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