We’ve established that in the ministry of Jesus and his apostles, the empowering of weak people is a key mission activity.
What about in your church? Are you guys doing the same sort of ministry as Jesus and his apostles, making empowerment ministries the front line of your church’s mission in your area?
What would that look like ? Here’s some ideas about how your church could announce and demonstrate God’s arriving kingdom by empowerment ministries.
I’m not too good at making the dumb speak. But I can teach ESL and help people speak the local language. That’s hugely empowering.
I may not have much luck releasing people possessed by demons (though you never know!). But I can help free people whose lives are gripped by fears, obsessions and addictions. Or help people who are trapped in abusive family situations to find the strength to get out.
I’m not that great as a healer of the sick. But I can help the man crippled by unemployment find a job that enables him to function normally again. Just watch the way he stands up tall once he’s back in work: he feels like a man again.
I’ve got heaps of neighbours who feel socially isolated and lonely. They’d love to enjoy friendship and community, but feel powerless to make it happen. By providing friendly settings for neighbours to meet, I can give them the chance to create friendship and community networks. Just bring them together and watch it happen. They make all the effort, but they give your church the credit for empowering them socially!
I can also help the Christian who feels like he’ll never be any use in ministry because he doesn’t have teaching gifts. By getting him involved in frontline, hands-on empowerment ministries that suit his gifts, I’m going to see him come alive, take on responsibility, and feel a new sense of purpose and satisfaction in his church involvement. That guy is gradually going to become confident and strong as a gospel servant. That’s empowerment too.
There are a thousand ways that sin and Satan and the power of death have a grip on my neighbours. And for every one of those ways, there’s help and strength in Christ to overcome it. And every time that strength is given by us in the name of Jesus, God’s kingdom is announced.
And that gives us a thousand possibilities for mission activities. Empowerment ministries.
What opportunities does your church have to bring strength to weak people around you in Jesus’ name?