Sunday, February 7, 2010

The Ministry Dilemma: Where do I fit in?

When it comes to Ministry groups in the Western Church, we have it all! If a person is born and dies in the Church, their experience may look something like this:

Age 0-2 - Nursery Ministry Recepient
Age 2-11 - Children's Ministry Recipient
Age 12-14 - Middle School Ministry Recipient
Age 15-17 - High School Ministry Recipient
(Substitute Home School Ministry Recipient where applicable)
Age 18-22 - College Age Ministry Recipient
Ages 23 & up could potentially include the following:
Post-College Ministry, Singles Ministry, Marrieds Ministry, Marrieds w/ Kids Ministry, Mens/Womens Ministry, Growth Ministry, Missions Ministry, Small Group Ministry, Divorce Ministry, Recovery Ministry, Parenting Ministry, Single Parenting Ministry, Seniors Ministry, & finally Funeral Ministry.  Not to mention all the side dish ministries that vary by region (i.e. Deaf Ministry, Blind Ministry, ESL Ministry, You-Name-It-We-Got-It Ministry), or those "Under the Hood" Ministries like Coffee Ministry, Janitorial Ministry, A/V Ministry, and the Set-Up/Tear-Down Ministry that you are constantly encouraged to participate in.

This structure has bothered me for some time now.  Partially, because I haven't really 'fit' into one of these ministries for a while.  After graduating, I jumped into the work-force, by-passing the college scene.  Thus, I didn't really relate to the "College Ministry" crowd.  Now that I'm several years beyond the traditional age of a college kid, I'm back in class again, but I still don't relate to the Post-College or College Ministry peeps.  I am single, but I generally avoid 'Singles' Ministries like the Swine Flu.  I find them patronizing, and being hit on with lines like "What's your life verse?" isn't my idea of fun.

I recently discussed this dilemma with a friend of mine and concluded that we are a part of the sliver of folks who have fallen through the proverbial crack in the Ministry Boat.  It sucks.  Last year I joined a group that I actually felt I belonged to.  After a while, there was a change in leadership which produced a schedule change which meant I could no longer attend.  I was really bummed.  It was rumored that the schedule was going to change again to a time I could attend, but eventually the whole ministry was scraped in order to focus on something more "worthwhile."  Apparently, I'm part of a group that is so rare that we are not important enough to have our own ministry.  Interestingly enough, Christ would have died for just ONE person if that had been the situation.

However.  I am writing this post because it turns out I've found the ministry that I belong to.  I belong to the Bloggers Ministry.  It is here that I voice my thoughts, opinions, and questions and from time to time I receive feedback.  It is here that I am blessed and encouraged by other bloggers who have messages and experiences I can relate to and/or learn from.  It is here that I have met wonderful friends such as Jon, Chuck, Matt, Annie, Renee, Dan, Joe, Jason, and Secret Agent L.  Not to mention all those in-between folks who read these blogs right along side me.  Without them, the ministry would not exist. 

One of the reasons I love this ministry is because of how versatile it really is.  Instead of going to a church where I can be segregated by my age/gender/occupation/height/background/whatever, I am free to partake in this journey alongside anyone I choose who is will to partake along with me.  If I tried to join all the ministries at a church that these blogs would represent, I'm sure I'd get kicked out of them - and possibly kicked out of the church altogether.  I am a single, late-20s, female, college student.  Generally speaking, I would not be allowed to join a Men's Ministry, a Marriage Ministry, a Parenting Ministry, a working Professional Ministry, or a 30s, 40s, 50s, etc Ministry.  And yet, I can get insight into all these areas of life by being a part of the Bloggers Ministry.  As it turns out, I can have something in common with someone who isn't "a single, late-20s, female, college student."  Imagine THAT!

What about you?  Do you consider yourself part of the Bloggers Ministry?  What's the craziest Western Church Ministry you've heard of?  If there was a Ministry titled just for you, what would it be called? 


  1. sounds like an online small/life/cell group. Our church and others I know would encourage such a thing.

    I've been thinking how it would be cool to have a Google Wave group, so people can post videos, links, pictures, etc. while discussing some Bible-related topics.

    I'm glad that you're not just saying, "Oh I don't fit in," but you're actively connecting.

    Then there are those churches who would absolutely love for someone or a team to build their online social network. It serves as a great connection for people who are not quite yet ready to step into a church.

  2. Good stuff!! Thanks for mentioning my blog! Yeah, so many people miss the real opportunity in social networking... the opportunity for connecting with great people from all over the world. I love my global tribe... we're changing the world together... and so are you!

  3. Thanks for the shout out Katie, but hey... you did more than "meet": me on the blogosphere, I am your aging (but still young looking) youth pastor :-)

  4. Mark Batterson wrote an interesting article related to this:

    God uses different people to bring his message to different people.

  5. Thanks for sharing that article, Jonathan!

    Also, I think your gWave idea could really be fabulous! Especially since I haven't thought of one single way to make gWave work for me.