Viable Ministry

Mark 9:38-40

38 “Teacher,” said John, “we saw someone driving out demons in your name and we told him to stop, because he was not one of us.”

39Do not stop him,” Jesus said. “For no one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me, 40 for whoever is not against us is for us. 41 Truly I tell you, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to the Messiah will certainly not lose their reward.

Have you thought or heard people say something like this.  “If you don’t do church the way I’ve been accustom to seeing church done then it’s not church.  If you don’t go to our church you won’t make it to heaven. If you don’t worship a certain way it’s not true worship.  If you don’t follow Christ like I follow Christ your not a true follower.  If the pastor doesn’t wear a suit his theology must be watered down.  If there isn’t a pulpit why preach? If there isn’t an alter up front there must not be prayer? If there is a projector instead of a cross, Christ’s sacrifice is worthless.   If you don’t walk a certain way, talk a certain way, or dress a certain way you must not have a viable relationship with Christ.”

I think we can become guilty of reacting similar to the disciples in Mark 9.  They went to Jesus when they saw someone driving out demons in His name.  They told him to stop.  Stop healing people from bondage.  Stop setting people free from the oppression that has invaded their lives for who knows how long.  Stop bringing hope, healing, peace, and joy into the lives of those who so desperately need it.  Why?  When did Jesus mission become about being a part of some elite club.  Why did this man offended them so much?  Was it his delivery? Was it his style?  Maybe it was the way he looked.

I love Jesus’ response.  “Don’t stop him.”  Jesus knew that anyone that did a miracle in His name, could not in the next moment say anything bad about Him.  Basically, the fruit revealed the heart. Technique was less important than the heart behind the technique.  We must cautiously approach our work for God with the understanding that each church might take different paths to accomplish the vision God has given them.  If we get in the business of judging another mans heart or another church’s mission, we run the risk of falling into the same mind set as the disciples in this story.

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