Let’s retire the term “church program.” It’s outdated and loaded with baggage. It gives the idea that church programs are for church people. They exist to benefit the people of the church- or you if you are a church member. Too many times church programs are loaded with policies and controls that bog down actual ministry. Too many times more time is spent talking about the program and not doing the ministry.
Instead, I believe everyone should be encouraged to start their own ministry- to follow their own calling from God. Christians should seek to find out where in the Body of Christ God desires them. Don’t wait for the church. Seek God instead! Everyone should seek the adventure of following God full tilt, not just some rare breed that has a calling. By the way, all Christians are divinely called by God to be priests (1 Peter 2:4-9). No disciple of Christ is exempt.
There is a new group of people out there that are not waiting for some church program, or church resources, to follow God. They’re out there sharing the Gospel in the marketplace, in bars, and in their neighborhood. They are volunteering inside the church and more importantly outside the church at free clinics, homeless shelters, and community projects. A lot of them don’t even think of themselves as ministers or priests, but they are. They are just following God with all their mind, heart, and strength. Their reward is simply the joy of the Lord.
The church should not be about programming, but about pursuing. Any Christian who seeks the adventure of ministry is pursuing something. They are pursuing something greater. They are pursuing God. They are pursuing to see Jesus’ prayer come to life: heaven come down to earth. They are pursuing eternity by trying to take as many friends and family possible with them. You don’t need a ministry degree, Greek language skills, or some position in the church to do this. All you need is the desire to get in the chase.