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March 15, 2016

Greetings,

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.  For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows.  If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings  we suffer.  And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.”  2 Corinthians 1: 3-7

This passage makes it extremely clear and confirms unto me that any real ministry or comfort only take place when our lives are subject to the very same sufferings as those that we are attempting to serve must endure on a daily basis.  In other words if we want to be effective ministers we must be totally submerged in the culture and pain that others live in continually.  To be brutally honest I think that most short term missions trips are pretty bogus.  In fact our whole lives are supposed to be an ongoing missions trip.  If you want to reach someone with the Gospel then you must live where they live, eat what they eat, work like they work, suffer what they suffer, and celebrate what they celebrate.  The only real way to serve is from WITHIN a group of people, and NEVER from above or outside of them.  That is why the whole Clergy/Laity thing is bullshit.  The most effective way to make disciples is eye to eye, shoulder to shoulder, heart to heart, hip to hip and knee to knee, and NEVER from the top down.

True ministry involves a total devotion to those that we serve; starting with Jesus.  When we serve like this we meet others needs out of the overflow of comfort and grace from our very own lives.  We can extend grace and healing because we have experienced it first hand and not because we read it in any book, including the bible.   We can minister salvation to others because we have lived it in the very same environment as those who we would have receive it.  Sermons are nothing more than fancy and useless words unless we live lives that back up those words to the utmost extent.

True fellowship and koinonia come from a shared life experience and not from any mission statement or strategic plan.  If we would only be totally upfront,open, honest and real about our own struggles and shortcomings…  CHRIST would put on display our overcoming of such obstacles to the benefit of all those we share life with each and every day.  You want others to receive His grace and mercy?  Then just receive them yourself and then tell others just what it is like to know Him in His sufferings and His power.  The only way to make a difference in the lives of others is to allow Him to make such a difference in your life and then put you on simple display within their community.  I realize my words have been forceful today, but I am passionate about these things.

Love and….

Kirk Out !

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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10 Comments
  1. LadyfaithMonica permalink

    Thank you for sharing I enjoyed reading God bless you snd yourself

  2. Very True… Well Said!

  3. Thank you for the encouragement and confirmation Mike and Ladyfaith. It means a lot to me.

  4. Wallaby permalink

    One of my friends in Canberra agrees very much with you about how short term missions to third world countries are not very productive. He also thinks that all the air travel involved is bad for the environment

  5. "BK" permalink

    I’ve done both….short term and long term mission and have to say I found them both productive. To me the key is if it’s just the usual planned ‘tourist helper’s trip’ or did the Spirit lead you somewhere long or short term. The short term mission trips put on by Christian churches, etc. I find more beneficial to the one going than the ones ‘served’. I advise any teenage person to GO from our country and they generally get a reality check that brings a balance not felt before by the young in our culture. Just my thought and experience, love, “BK”

    • I hear you BK and agree that short term trips benefit the one who goes much more than those they visit most of the time. Cross cultural experiences can really wake up teens and adults to a much wider world view. However, I think that sending the folks we seek to be missionaries to the money that covers our air fare and other travel expenses is more beneficial to them than an actual visit is most of the time.

      • "BK" permalink

        You get no guff from me on that! 🙂 “BK”

  6. I totally get from WIthin works best…..as we live our lives closer to one another we really see the ins and outs and ups and downs, not just what surfaces on periods of interaction here and there. We are such individuals in this life it is difficult to maintain ‘life together’ …. But beneficial to share more and see the down parts, hard parts to rub the rough edges off each of us and work at getting along and supporting in the rough times.

    • Yes Sue, we all “iron to sharpen iron” as we press forward deeper into Christ and HIS will and ways. This only happens when we are mutual peers in Christ. We do this together and HE sharpens us in the process. IN the IC all the little steak knives bow down to Pastor sharpening stone and very few get sharpened in that type of top down setup.

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