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We live in an age where, if you didn’t do it alone, it doesn’t really count. But what the wise observe is that, if you don’t do it together, it doesn’t actually happen. This is, of course, biblical wisdom restated and reapplied. God didn’t just make Adam. He didn’t just call Abraham. He didn’t call one (1) disciple. He compares us to a human body and a building-project. Over and over again He blesses community and fellowship. All the “righteousness” that God wills for this world involves people (plural). The defining feature of the individuals who follow Him is that they love the other individual who follow Him. And are eager to see their tribe increase.
All of this flows—everything flows!—from who God is. God is—ready for this?—Persons! God is a team. God is a community. God is a small group. God is a fellowship. God is One-Anothers. God is neighbors. God is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The eternal eruptive spectacle of His grace flows from God’s character—He’s just like that—and His nature. The eruption that is creation and the cataract that is redemption burst forth from the Father’s delight in the Son and the Spirit, the Son’s love for the Father and the Spirit, and the Spirit’s joy in the Father and the Son. God’s greatest gift is sharing Himself. And God shares God like this: the Father sends the Son to be the Savior of the World, and the Father pours out His love in the Spirit, and the Son glorifies the Father, and the Son pours out the gift of the Spirit, and the Spirit glorifies the Son, and the Spirit delivers the Father’s glory to us.
So, as His people, should we be solo-entrepreneurs, heroically climbing all our Everests? You know what happens to those people? They become human-sized icicles. No one goes alone. Oh, we can go alone, but we won’t actually go. That’s just not how the universe works. Because that’s not how God is.
God is a team. And He’s invited us to be on His team. We're a team.
At least two…people in any ministry. First, pragmatically, for a higher quality, more effective, and sustainable ministry. But second, and more importantly for us, what is ministry? Ministry is the love of God overflowing from us to others. It’s relationships. It’s a circuit of relationships, love passing from switch to switch, box to box, light to light.
Whatever ministry we want to do, we want to share love with someone, somehow. We need a team to get it done because it’s as our love flows through each other that it reaches those others. It’s not just a pragmatic trick; it’s the essential nature of ministry.
For example. I cannot best love "outsiders" without loving members. My love, or lack, will flow into those closest to me and reach, for good or ill, those further away. I can turn on individual lights in a home, one at a time, by plugging them into a small portable generator. Or I can turn all the lights on by using the circuitry’s design and just flip the breaker ON.
So, when we contemplate a ministry, a new thing, revitalizing an old thing, redeeming a going-thing, we will ask, “What would I like this to be? How would I like this to go?” But also ask: “Who would I like to come along with me? Who could I bless and be blessed by as we work on this together?” To be a Grace-First place—a Grace Chapel—we must link up. Grace flows through.
“Ministry” is the natural result of healthy relationships. Friendship overflows, welcomes, heartens, and guides. All our ministry-dreams hope to do that. How we do things is who we are. Who are we? We’re a team. What are we doing? Inviting people into a New Community: calling them to Jesus. And to this—us—His people.
First, at least two. Because…Grace.