(Click here for a video of John reading this Catch.)
In the real estate world it’s known as “location, location, location.” Where a property is located determines its value more than anything else. In the church and in all types of ministry today, it keeps on coming up as “relationships, relationships, relationships.” Here at the Catch we have discipleship ministries going on, we have evangelism, we have counseling, prayer and Bible studies, but in reality they all boil down to one thing: relationships.
Billy Graham is dead. Rick Warren just gave his last sermon. Many mega churches in the United States and Australia are beset by the abuses of authoritarian, bullying leaders for whom John Wayne is more of an example than Jesus. Programs are failing; worship extravaganzas are providing no more than entertainment; church attendance is down especially among Millennials and younger. Is there anything that works for ministry anymore?
Yes. “Relationships, relationships, relationships.”
Actually this is nothing new. It has always been the case ever since Jesus was here. It could be even considered a good thing that nothing else is working right now, because this has always been the true model for ministry ever since Jesus walked the earth for three years with twelve men and a number of women who went on to change the world, one person at a time.
How else do you impart true life in Christ except through a relationship? How else does faith become real except by walking and talking with someone? How else does the Holy Spirit connect people except through relationships? How else does a person with fear and anxiety experience real hope except through a relationship with someone who has that hope in Christ? How do you know what forgiveness is unless someone forgives you. How will anyone know we are Christ’s disciples except by our love one for another? None of these things are programs or services or performances or sermons or events. They are relationships, and this is an opportune time to be alive since pretty much everything else we have tried as Christians has broken down.
Billy Graham may be dead, and Rick Warren may have preached his last sermon, but you can have a real relationship with anyone that will be even more effective than either one of them, and they would both agree. That’s because it’s always been all about “relationships, relationships, relationships.”