I am blogging from the local bowling alley today while attending a Cell group birthday party for a six-year old and his friends. Moms and dads are here from 2 cells and lots of fellowship is occurring. The moms naturally cluster with the babies that are too young to participate in the sport and the dads are hanging together (no doubt solving the worldâ€™s problems) as well as coaching the active bowlers. No specific exchange concerning the word of God is scheduled here, simply living out one of the simple celebrations of life together in HIS kingdom.
Relational structures are one of my â€˜big fourâ€™ because growth and maturing take place in a caring environment. The other three are; having a grace bias, holding a spiritualistic-biblical worldview and understanding the kingdom of God. Looking at the life and ministry of Jesus I see Him operating in and through relationships; talking, teaching, modeling, eating, walking, attending events (weddings and marketplaces) and ministering together with His disciples.
My ministry training occurred â€˜on-the-jobâ€™ in a program driven church within the North American culture. Fortunately, I have some good balance from my out-of-country mission experiences and a super-dose of cell church learning, too. However, I still find it hard to summarize that being here at the bowling alley is â€˜ministryâ€™! I am comfortable with the summary, but know that the standard view from the body of Christ is that I should be at a desk, or a hospital, or a home visit, DOING something called ministry as defined by hundreds of years of formal practices by clergy.
As we prepare to depart, following the gift opening and snacks for hungry children, one of the other dads approaches and says, â€œIâ€™ll see you tomorrow night at cell group.â€ I sense the sincerity of relationships forming, ministry moving in a good direction and opportunity to worship coming up.
I may give my desk away!