Hitland Christian Ministries

The Paradigm Shift of Modern Ministry

By Dr. Brad Walker - July 13, 2003

Modern ministry is undergoing a paradigm shift. The hierarchy of office holding ministers is being challenged on all sides. Pastors and church directors feel an over-whelming responsibility of duty, while time for preparations, study, and Spirit-listening becomes more and more elusive.

This balance between ministerial supply and demand has tipped so far toward the demands of a hurting world that many passionate men and women are searching for a “way out” to survive the crushing weight of church business.

I’m reminded of a story illustrated by a man balancing a telephone pole on its end. As the man moved about with the precarious and awkward tower, he was extremely focused on every muscle and potential hazard that may cause him to stumble or lose balance of the beam. Exhausted more by the concentration and less by the physical effort, he found himself unable to do anything else but the task at hand.

This example is a close visual parallel of many pastors today. The burden of the “job” is only out weighed by feelings of anxiety of what may happen if no one else were willing to take on the responsibility of church leadership.

While staring up from the bottom of this balancing act…it is easy to forget, or even overlook, that there are plenty of people standing around willing to help. If we can see the possibility of laying the pole in a horizontal position, then many people can lighten the load and move this project in a way that it is almost effortless. This way of project solving requires a different set of skills including teambuilding, unity, communication, and mutual respect. This allows a pastor to actually lead and not just labor.

Teambuilding is a major portion of ministry. Without a team, we are individuals separated by our own limitations. We are called to come together and serve as one body and yet this model is scarcely seen in the micro focus of the local church or in the macro focus of the community church. We are willing to entertain the concept of reaching the world with the message of Jesus Christ, but are reluctant to invite others to the “real-life” logistics of this task.

Recently in Iraq, we saw a military “tour-de-force” that swiftly and effectively brought about change by exercising coalition involvement of many forces, talents, and equipment. They were successful because of their willingness to serve in a fluid model, flexible enough to adjust to the changing face of their environment, and respect for each other’s expertise in the field.

This example of sharing in one common goal was also profoundly modeled in the Bible’s second chapter of Acts. As the community came together and gathered all they had in common, they developed relationship with glad and sincere hearts. They shared in the “awe” of God’s power and miracles.

Hitland Ministries is committed to help carry the load of God’s calling out to the world. We are excited about the opportunities that God presents to His people and are encouraged when one man’s (pastor’s) divine vision becomes a communities (church) combined effort.
We have found, in many cases, the only barrier stopping a church from moving forward with their desire to reach out to the world, is an inability to define or focus the details of the task. Hitland helps bring clarity, refinement, training, tools, enthusiasm, prayer, and a small army of compassionate people to rub on the elbow grease and work in the harvest field.

Now is the time for divisions and denominations to fall away. Our individual efforts will only suffer until our unified calling embraces this common goal of bringing the message of Jesus to the world. Even Jesus relied on twelve to move forward each day. His ministry was not diminished, but was increased as he built a team, put tools in their hands, and released them to go further than he could.

John 14:12 “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.”

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