Thursday, November 13, 2008

What Ministry is Keeping Your Church Alive?

When I meet new Christians at conferences, lectures, or meetings...I know exactly how the conversations are going to go:
Other person--"Hi Josh, my name is _______."
Josh--"It is a pleasure to meet you."
Other person--"Now where do you minister?"
Josh--"I preach at the Sycamore View Church in Memphis, TN."
(And I know the next question before they ask it)
Other person--"How big is that church?"

The questions that drive us are the questions concerning church attendance and budgets.
"How big is your church?"
"What is your annual budget?"
"How many services do you have?"

Barbara Brown Taylor is right, we concern ourselves with the 3 B's: buildings, budgets, and baptisms.

Allow me to suggest some new questions that need to dominate our conversations:
-What is the ministry that drives your church?
-How have you seen God at work in your church over the past few months?
-How is your church living for the surrounding community?

So, let me end by asking this:
What is the ministry that is keeping your church alive?
What is the ministry that is holding your church close to the heart of God?


Anonymous said...

Great question. Over the past year we have involved ourselves in a food program called, "Angel Food Ministries". (You can research it online). It's a wonderful ministry that is enabling us to meet people in a very non-intrusive way, while offering groceries at a greatly reduced rate.
We believe that through this ministry we will become a very diverse family, able to meet the needs of more than just MCWA (middle class white America). Anyone reading this and is interested in the ministry, feel free to contact me at:

By the way, I'm Josh' uncle.

joyhuff said...

Our Wednesday Night Meals each week gives Levy an opportunity to reach on avg. 80+ kids(2-12th grade). We are slowly reaching out to their parents as well. The potential is HUGE, the challenges are HUGE, and the blessings are HUGE as well. Only 20 of the 80 are receiving rides, the rest walk to the building each week from the apartments surrounding the area.
~Joy Huff
PS. Maybe you can meet some of them at the Girl's Conference in January. It will be a great experience for many of them.

Josh Graves said...

*Cass Park (Detroit)
*God's Helping Hands (our food and clothing center off site . . . now the largest dist. in the Metro Area)
*NA and AA


*Celebrate Recovery

Lynn Leaming said...

Great post Josh, and great questions. It is interesting that the Lord said the world would know Him by the way we love one another, and yet we struggle to be known. Richardson East also has a CAREcorp ministry where we help people with $150.00 towards their rent and utilities and have a food pantry. But the reality is it is staffed by less than 2% of our people. They do bring food to "fill the pantry" twice a year. My point being that while I do believe this ministry is near the heart of God, I don't think it is a ministry that holds us together. So I will be asking others your question what is the ministry that is keeping us alive.