Towards a transformative ministry – Part 2
In the first part of this series, we noticed that to succeed in Christian Ministry, we must first and foremost have salvation. We also saw how salvation can only be achieved through the creative work of God in us. We may, therefore, say that if God considers us His work of art, we dare not treat ourselves or others with disrespect or as inferior. We have to note that Christian Ministry is for all persons of faith, whether ordained or lay.
The type of Ministry we are talking about is the Ministry that can become signs of hope and models of change for the liberation of all people who are presently in bondage or being marginalised and oppressed. The starting point should be to re-examine ourselves, based on our context. It is also imperative we know the background of the person we are ministering to. This is the only way we can bring our radical real selves before God. Another approach is to examine our mission theology. When all these are taken into consideration, we may then see how God respond to the material realities of struggle and marginalisation afflicting the people around us.
The interpretation of the Christian faith should be in such a way that will bring hope to the marginalised. Such interpretation should also bring home to the people, the truths of the Christian gospel in a context that relates to the people. For example, in African context, Jesus should be presented as a Mediator or Intermediary. Christ should be presented as the ‘One Mediator between God and Man’ (1 Timothy 2:5). Christ ‘gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time’ (1 Timothy 2:6). This passage shows how human beings are separated from God by sin, and only one person in the universe is our mediator and can stand between us and God and bring us together again. Christ not only provides communication, but also removes the barriers of sin and guilt, which separate man form God.
Jesus gave His life as a ransom for our sin (Mark 10:45). A ransom was the price paid to release a slave from captivity. Jesus, our mediator, gave His life in exchange for ours. By His death, He paid our penalty for sin. In Christian Ministry, we have to see ourselves as Paul, who describes himself as a preacher and an apostle. He was given the special privilege of announcing the gospel to the Gentiles. How do we announce the gospel to the oppressed and the marginalised in the society? How do we present the gospel to the ruling class? Have we been able to translate the gospel to meet people’s economic and political needs? Christian ministry should be able to transform the unjust society to a society where justice and peace reign. Such a transformative ministry can only come to play when the Church sees herself as one. It is only the oneness of the Church that can enable the Church to anchor her commitment to a transformative ministry, which is the embodiment of liberation, justice and freedom for all people.
In our nation, where we have politics of money and bitterness, the Church should be alive to her responsibility. Through transformative change, the Church will be able to harness her resources within the corporate expressions of worship and ministry to positively affect the life of both the poor and the rich in our society. With the transformative ministry, we can change the face of politics in our society.
No comments yet