In his book College Ministry in a Post-Christian Culture Stephen Lutz asks the reader two questions that frame the rest of his book. Even though they are questions directed at college/campus ministers I think they are great questions for anybody in ministry to constantly be asking themselves:
- Does the grounded, growing, fruitful tree describe you?
- Does the grounded, growing, fruitful tree describe your ministry? (30-31)
Stephen Lutz warns ministry leaders from becoming spiritual tumbleweeds, tossed about and shifted around by the winds of change. He suggests that we be like trees instead. We ought to strive to be like Sequoias who are known for their impressive mass and strength. We ought to be like Bristlecone Pines, known for their resiliency. We ought to be like the Trembling Giant aspen in Utah, a tree known for its reproductive capabilities.
Helping your ministry become that sort of tree begins with you. What does it look like for you to be grounded, growing, and fruitful? Only once you have asked that question can you ask what it looks like for your ministry to be grounded, growing and fruitful.
I like to think that being grounded means standing firm in two particular calls
- The truth of God’s grace and our identity in Christ. (Gospel)
- The truth of God’s call upon our lives. (Mission)
Both of these are callings. The first is a call to come to Christ. The second is a call to go for Christ.
Any growth and fruit will flow out of knowing these two truths.