Tag Archives: Ministry

The Ministry of Politics

When one takes upon themselves the mantel of ministry, they take upon the role of a servant. Yes, a servant. This is an uncomfortable feeling for many individuals, because it is human nature to want acceptance, moments in the spotlight, and to be embraced with praise and glorification for our various deeds. Yet, with the call of ministry comes the abandonment of self, the crucifixion of pride, and the concluding fact that you are called to serve a cause greater than one’s self.
Ministry, in a religious respective, is an expression of the will of the religious faith. Politics, in theory, is an expression of policy or legislative affairs that should reflect the will of the constituents. Politics is a ministry, in the sense that the elected leaders are called to serve. In essence, they take on the title of “public servants.” In various parts of the international world, the word “ministry” is widely used. For example, we use the terms “Secretary of Defense/Secretary of State” to relate to our nation’s top military advisor and top diplomat. Overseas, the term used to relate to these positions are “Defense Minister and Foreign Minister.” I find this strikingly intriguing in the fact that “minister” is used to imply that government intends to minister, or to reach out through self-less service, to its constituents. Anytime the government takes on the term of “minister” it is responsible for expressing outreach through humility and having a passion for people.
Ministry is all about people and connecting with their needs. The problem with politicians in the current era is that they know of their constituents but there is no connection to their needs. This is displayed through policies and legislative procedures that ignore the will of the people, and through acts that benefits politicians but can put the constituents at an extreme disadvantage. Majority of politicians are seeking to be in the spotlight, serenaded by a paparazzi of television crew, radio talking heads and attempting to divulge the voter into thinking that they are acutely aware of their needs by doing glamorous, but deceptive public relations. The constituent knows when the politicians are sincere and honest with them. They know that when election time is vastly approaching, the politicians will appear to be interested in improving their economic conditions. This, however, is not ministry. Ministry is a CONSTANT process. It does not occur every 2 or 4 years but it is intact every single day. People need encouragement and advice every day. Ministry is being aware of these needs and making yourself available to being a helpful asset. This concept needs to be applied in the political theatre. The voter needs to see and hear from their elected leaders on a constant basis, not just during an election cycle.
Ministry requires outreach to every human soul that desires to have their lives impacted for the better. Ministry does not see race, ethnicity, sex, economic status, or past failures. Yes, ministry outreaches to those who have done deeds that are considered despicable. After all, it’s not what you were it’s what you can become. The political atmosphere can benefit from the aspects of ministry. Instead of particular parties outreaching to certain voting blocs and turning a deaf ear to others, they could simply engage in outreaching to EVERYONE in need. This will bring about more interest and a better engagement in public affairs and policy. When you reach out to everyone, there is a better feeling of overall satisfaction. The failure to reach out to everyone leaves a sense of discontent and the “out of touch” label begins to take its role.
Ministry isn’t about receiving a prestigious award or adoration. Many times your deeds go unnoticed. Many times you will not receive a “thank you” or a pat on the back. Ministry is selfless. It is the willingness to operate with passion and to influence others without asking for anything in return. Politics is about reaching out to others and impacting the lives of voters without looking for political favors or “back door deals.” It is about staying faithful to your values and principals and not abandoning them for fanfare or popularity. It consists of connecting to the people you have been chose t represent without betraying them for greed, corruption and deceit.
If you feel the call of ministry has landed on your shoulders, you must embrace it without turning back. You must be saturated with a burden to impact the lives of those you come in contact with and the willingness to serve people with the humble heart of a servant. For those who want to be a public servant through the political realm, you must stand with conviction and consistently display the principals that your constituents expect out of you. This must be shown through policies and lifestyle as well.
Will politics embrace the role of ministry and reduce selfishness and greed and increase humility and morality? This remains to be seen. In order for politics to be more positively embraced, it must become a ministry.

Christian Ministry Leaves “Christ” Behind

After sixty years of ministry, one of the most recognized Christian ministries is dropping Christ from their name.

Campus Crusade for Christ International announced that it will change the name of its U.S. Operations to “Cru” early next year.

Steve Sellers, the vice president for Campus Crusade for Christ, said:

“We felt like our name was getting in the way of accomplishing our mission.”

He added that the ministry will still be committed to “proclaiming Christ around the world.”

According to Mr. Sellers, researchers found that 9 percent of Christians and 20 percent of non-Christians were alienated by the name Campus Crusade for Christ.

In 1951, Bill and Vonette Bright founded the organization which has grown to a staff of 25,000 members in 191 countries. Bill Bright died in 2003, but Mrs. Bright posted a video online giving her support of the name change.

Mr. Sellers stated:

“When Bill Bright started the organization, he told his wife that someday they would have to change the name. As early as the late ’70s and ’80s he was looking at making the name change.”

Mr. Sellers said there are several reasons for the name change, one of which is overseas sensitivities, specifically to the word “crusade”

“Our name was becoming more and more of a hindrance. It’s reverted back to some of its meaning related to the Middle Ages – forcing Christianity on different parts of the world.”

That addresses one part of the name change, but what about the part where they remove the name of Christ from the organization name? The Campus Crusade for Christ website states:

“We were not trying to eliminate the word Christ from our name. We were looking for a name that would most effectively serve our mission and help us take the gospel to the world. Our mission has not changed. Cru enables us to have discussions about Christ with people who might initially be turned off by a more overtly Christian name. We believe that our interaction and our communication with the world will be what ultimately honors and glorifies Christ.”

But that decision has not set well with many evangelical Christians. Many Christians are standing up and voicing their disgust with the organization for giving in to political correctness.

But Mr. Sellers defends the removal of Christ’s name from the organizations name, and denied that they are giving in to political correctness, saying:

“It has nothing to do with political correctness.  It has everything to do with how we can be effective at what God has called us to do. Most churches don’t have Christ in their name. Hardly any other Christian organization has Christ in their name. People are making an issue out of something that isn’t the intent at all.”

He added that it is “more important that the organization is effective at proclaiming Jesus than it is important to have the name of Jesus in the name of the organization.”

He also emphasized the fact that the mission of the organization has not changed, saying:

“We are an evangelistic organization that is committed and has been committed and will be committed to proclaiming Christ around the world.”

Cru, the new name of the organization, has been a nickname for the organization on university campuses. Sellers said of this:

“Much like lots of brand names they don’t necessarily have meaning in and of themselves. It is a name we intend to give meaning so that when people hear it they know that it’s a caring group of Christians who are passionate about lifting up the name of Jesus.”

The Bible states things a bit differently.

Matthew 10:33 says:

“…but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.”

Mr. Sellers may be fooling himself, but he is not fooling God, nor anyone else who stands on the Word of God. Jesus made it very clear- if you deny me, I will deny you! A “caring group of Christians who are passionate about lifting up the name of Jesus” is what Mr. Sellers intends to portray with the new name, but the organization has taken out the name of the person he is supposedly passionate about lifting up.

2 Timothy 2:12 says,

“if we endure, we shall also reign with him; if we deny him, he also will deny us.”

Mr. Sellers and the organization would not endure. They gave in to political correctness whether they want to admit it or not.

Luke 21:17 says:

“You will be hated by all for my name’s sake.”

God specifically tells us that we will be hated for proclaiming His name. It is very doubtful He will accept the explanation of Mr. Sellers and the organization. If Mr. Sellers is correct, and Mr. Bright “knew” that one day they would have to change the name of the organization, many questions come to mind about the true mission of the organization. Do they now, and did Mr. Bright just want to be accepted by the world? If the mission of the organization is “proclaiming Christ around the world”, taking the name of Christ out of the organization is an oxy-moron.

Mr. Sellers said:

Cru enables us to have discussions about Christ with people who might initially be turned off by a more overtly Christian name.

If someone is “turned off” by the name of Christ, the name Cru is not going to magically open their eyes to the grace and love of Christ. This explanation is an obvious attempt to appease, but does nothing more than show the true intent behind the name change. In Mr. Seller’s own words:

“Our name was becoming more and more of a hindrance.”

In Mr. Seller’s explanation, he says that the name “Crusade” reminds people of the Middle Ages when people were forced into the practices of Christianity. If that were true, they would have kept the name of Christ, and only dropped “Crusade” from the name.

Mr. Sellers said:

“We believe that our interaction and our communication with the world will be what ultimately honors and glorifies Christ.”

The question that should be asked of Mr. Sellers is how can you glorify and honor Christ when you take His name out of your work?