One Lord, One Faith, Many Ministries

The congregations I serve have little going on during the week. There is no special “youth ministry,” “seniors ministry,” “30s-something ministry,” “Baby-boomers ministry,” or any other “ministry” for that matter. There is just the Ministry of the Word. There have been times when I have lamented the fact that these congregations are not “bee-hives of activity” (to quote our Synodical Pres.). The only day of the week that much of anything congregational is going on is Sunday morning.

But when I consider the alternative, large congregations with multiple “ministries” for every age group, socio-economic group, and gender, I breathe a repentant sigh of relief. I am thankful that everyone knows what I mean when I talk about the “Ministry.” I am thankful that in these churches there is no toddler or senior citizen, no teenager or singles crowd, but simply Christians, simply the Body of Christ. We are not a collection of different “groups” and “ministries,” but the one, holy, Christian, and apostolic Church in this place.

I wonder sometimes if these mega churches with multiple ministries for every age group, gender, and socio-economic status really understand what it means to be “Church.” Do they really understand themselves as the one Body of Christ? Though I am sometimes [sinfully] envious of congregations that are ‘busy’ with activity throughout each week, I am thankful for the simplicity of the Ministry in this place. One pastor, preaching the Word and administering the Sacraments to the Sheep of Christ’s flock.

And to think that it is the larger, more “dynamic” congregations that are selected as ‘model’ congregations. Congregations like mine are seen as somehow inferior and sub-Christian because they don’t have 8 different ministry groups, meetings every night of the week, etc. Goodness! If people are going to be expected to be at church every other night of the week, let it be for prayer meditation, not ‘business meetings’.

This post was inspired by the following paragraph from another LC-MS congregation:

We have many ministries and programs developed specifically for children, teenagers, and adults. Click above on MINISTRIES to find an area that fits you.

We dream of multiplying our ministry of building Strong Friends, Strong Families, and Strong FAITH by establishing at least three other L.I.F.E. centers in ———– and surrounding areas in the next ten years.


About Rev. Paul L. Beisel

Graduate of Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, IN in 2001 (M Div.) and 2004 (S.T.M.); LC-MS Pastor and Adjunct Instructor for John Wood Community College; Husband of Amy and father of Susan, Elizabeth, Martin, and Theodore.
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