Monday, September 29, 2008

Christians Thrive as They Flow Love Out to Others

Love of God will not continue to flow to churches and Christians if there is no flowing out of love and ministry as commanded by Jesus in Scripture.

That sounds a little "preachy" and I know bloggers prefer open statements that invite dialogue. I'm willing to break the protocol because I am passionate about my weekend of ministry. Saturday and Sunday night our prison ministry held services at the highest security women's prison in our state. We must go both nights because the chapel can only hold 250+ women and there are so many women who desire to worship with us that we must come back to back.

We bring our sound equipment, instruments, praise team, intercessors, me...the scribe, and preachers one weekend a month. Over 50 people gave up their time from 3 PM to 10 PM to travel and minister to these prisoners. As I listened to many of the people talking about singing for hours in worship during our two services in front of TV cameras to thousands, and to us 4,000 in each service and then revving up to jump on the bus by 3 PM was tough. Then many would be getting up at 4 or 5 AM to get to their jobs or schools to begin the week this morning.

The meeting was profound and many women came to the Lord. The sermons dealt with their guilt and shame and their fatherlessness. Every time we go I am impacted spiritually beyond what I can put into words.

As I sat listening to these joy-filled whipped saints thank God for the privilege of this mission I was blessed. I sat on the bus asking God what all of this means. I had a sense of a healthy river. This prison ministry is only one ministry of nearly 200 ministries flowing out of our church from shelter to the homeless, food for the starving and soon a Christian school for the children falling between the justice system's cracks. I felt God showing me this holy enthusiasm was going on as the saints flow His love in all these ministries. Then I thought of healthy rivers: as the flow of water is released from the river there is capacity to receive more into it without flooding over its banks.

I'm going out on a limb. I believe that churches that work to tend to folks within their "inside" church family without a hands on ministry to those Jesus called us to work with can become like a damned up river. I sense also that this flow from Heaven to "healthy" flowing churches applies to those within that church family individually as they are a part of the church and corporately for the church as a whole.

What scriptures am I referring to? Here are a few:

"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 trials, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God." 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

"Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them ….teaching them ...Matt. 28:18-20.

"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." James 1:27

"For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me." Matthew 25:35

I've been a member for decades in churches that were geared to avoiding error and keeping traditions in tact and sending a check to a mission board. The emphasis was on us, me and mine. There are many irrelevant and dead the main reason that Jesus is not lifted up above all....and His words of risky vulnerable hands on...get dirty ministry avoided? I love the church....I want every church flowing and thriving!!!


Dorothy Champagne said...

I know I mentioned this before, but my brother is the chaplain at the state women's prison in Kentucky and I just love to hear your stories of the way God is moving in the prison you are ministering to - keep 'em coming.

ThreeGirlyGirls said...

Wow! Kay God is using you in big ways to reach these people! Press on! You are doing big things for His kingdom!

Kay Martin said...

I just love my blogging friends!!! Thank you Nicki in the middle of your miracle to take time to respond my passion. And you, Dorothy, I need to connect with your brother. There is so much I need to learn to be prepared for this mighty work. God bless you all and let us agree to flow God's Amighty love on and on.
Kay, host of Thrive Christians

© 2008 Kay Martin

Thrive In Christ

Who I Am In Christ by Neil Anderson

For several months we will center on this book to pursue Thriving in our Christian journey.

Neil challenges us with: "Do you know who you are in God's eyes? We are no longer products of our past. We are primarily products of Christ's work on the cross. Who we are determines what we do.

You are not who you are in Christ because of the things you have done, you are in Christ because of what He has done. He died and rose again so that you and I could live in the FREEDOM of His love."

That's just the introduction. More to follow.