Sometimes I find it difficult to take off my ministry mask and trust what my own Bible study and experience tells me is true. Serving in a ministry capacity places you within a fraternity of like-minded people; people you love, respect and all-to-often emulate. When our personal study and interaction with God’s word leads us to conflicting positions we may find ourselves reticent to speak up in fear of being criticized, ostracized, or even shunned by those same people we have come to love and respect.
In recent weeks I have been working on a new study series and in preparation I have been following the blogs and video presentations produced by individuals I respect, but occasionally disagree with. Most of the topics I disagree about are not earth-shattering, doctrinally-damning issues – just what I would term “Paul & Barnabas disagreements” (Acts 15). When it comes to what I believe and practice, I simply want to be like the Bereans, “receiving the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so” (Acts 17:11).
This topic has troubled me for a while because I still don’t know how to address it without sounding like a Pharisee to those on my left and an apostate to those on my right. This is where struggling with my ministry mask comes into play. I still want to be part of the fraternity, but at what cost? Is my personal study and integrity worth the price of acceptance?
In the coming weeks and months I may find that I end up in a “strong disagreement” with some of my own brethren; but just as Barnabas felt it was essential to minister not only to the lost on his missionary journeys, but also to minister to the young evangelist John Mark; I am called to reach out beyond my comfort zone and minister to those neglected in conventional ministry.
“Who makes up this neglected population,” you may ask? All I can say for now is that Jesus was criticized for eating with tax collectors and sinners (Matthew 9:11). Beyond that statement you will simply have to stay tuned. The first in a series of “BROKEN” videos should be online in the next two weeks.