28 September 2009

(2)COR leadership2

2. Those who minister should limit their work to areas which are not allocated to others.

(2 Corinthians 10:12-18)

This second assertion which Paul makes in 2 Corinthians is about placing limits and boundaries on our ministries. When reading this, one should see a direct challenge to the 'more, more; greater, greater' culture which has permeated modern evangelicalism, especially when many larger churches act as though all Christians should process church in the manner that they do. (After all, they are the 'successful' ones.)

The apostle here is asserting the purity of his motives, that he is not interested in competition within the Body (as are the false, or 'super' apostles to which he refers). Rather than boasting over who can make ministerial achievements, Paul is more concerned with kingdom achievements - the expanding influence of the gospel.

Craig Blomberg notes, "Today, a disproportionately large amount of Christian ministry occurs in already well-evangelized parts of the world, while unreached people and people groups receive comparatively scant attention" (225).

All of this raises an important issue: Are we being responsible stewards of the resources we have been given? Or have we made Christianity just another way of heaping blessings upon ourselves? To re-evangelize and overtly saturate given areas with ministry will eventually leave our Christianity dull and our evangelicalism lifeless. Yes, our minds must be centered on things above, but we still must remember that we are living among things below and are called to change the lower with the influence of the higher.

Perhaps this is another indicator that far too many of the Body are evaluating and approaching ministry from an earthly perspective. Do we measure success by who can reach the top of our evangelical hills or are we trying hard to discover the most urgent needs. Rather than achieving the megachurch dream by catering to an already-existent Christian subculture, are we willing to go find those without such a great hope that lies within them?

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