A couple of weeks ago I celebrated my 22nd year on staff at Wildwood Community Church.  It is really hard to believe it has been that many years.  If someone were to ask me what has “happened” during my time here, I could mark my experience many ways:

I could count the years by “title.”  For 5 years I served as the College Pastor, for 10 years I served as the Executive Pastor, and for the past 7 years, I have served as the Senior Pastor.  This would be one way to remember the time.

Or …

I could think about different big projects we have worked on over this span.  Watching the development of the “new” worship center, overseeing the construction of a children’s ministry building, or cheering on the mobilization of additional dollars toward outreach (locally and globally).  Each of these projects marked an era of our church’s history.

Or … 

I could think of different programs designed for service, training, or community that have launched in different eras over the past 2+ decades.  This is another way to count each season.

But, at the end of the day, for the right thinking minister, the target is not titles or buildings or programs.  These things are a part of ministry, but the growth of such things is NOT the definition of a healthy church or an effective minister.

So what should we be aiming at?  Well, the true target in ministry is to glorify God by seeing lives transformed in Christ.  That is our mission … that is our hope.

To say it another way, if 20 years of ministry produced bigger buildings, loftier titles, and new programs – BUT NO LIVES WERE CHANGED … well then, we would be spinning our wheels.  Ministers are not in the “org chart” business, or real estate, or instructional designers.  

No … we are pens.  Dipped in the inkwell of the Spirit, we long to see God use us to write Jesus’ Word on the hearts of people in a transformative way.  This is what I have hoped for over 20 years in ministry … it is what I hope for in the years that lie ahead.  If no lives have been changed than I wasted a lot of people’s time, trust, and treasure.

This idea of transformation is at the heart of Paul’s “Mission: Brief” in 2 Corinthians 2:17 – 3:3.  This Sunday at Wildwood, in part 2 of our series, we will look at these verses together as we talk about the target of life change in ministry.  

Jesus is in the business of changing lives.  Is He changing yours?  Join us Sunday in our 8:30, 9:45, and 11:00 services as we talk more about this.  Hope to see you there … and bring friends!

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