By Steve Hudgins
Paul wrote the Corinthians as follows: “And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord” (1 Cor. 12:5). The marginal note on “administrations” is ministries. Surely Paul did not have in mind some of the “ministries” that are becoming common ‘among liberal brethren today. There are now “ministries” that entertain and amuse. Some time ago a Baptist church in Orlando, Florida featured a champion weight lifter at their morning service to attract the crowds. Billy Graham has long had his “entertaining celebrities” to help draw crowds. How far behind are some of the liberal brethren?
We hear and read of the “puppet ministry” that entertains the children. Then there is the “Bus Ministry” to get the children to ride the “Joy Bus” to the place where they can be “ministered to” by the puppets. The “Bus Ministry” must be a very important one considering the attention and time given it, the articles and books written about it and the award programs, etc. The “Gateway Soulwinning Workshop” which was advertised for St. Louis in July for two arid one half days has published their “Program Schedule” which lists 13 time periods devoted to the subject of the “Bus Ministry.” There must be more to this than some of us think. During these two and one half days, four hours are given to open forum panel discussions of the “Bus Ministry.” In addition to this, one brother is to speak on how to sell the church on the “Bus Ministry.” One is to discuss recruiting and training “Bus Workers.” A sister is to speak on “Women in the Bus Ministry.” Other phases of this “ministry” to be discussed by different ones are: “Ways to operate a Bus Ministry,” “Problems in the Bus Ministry,” “Visuals in the Bus Ministry,” “Converting Bus Riders and their Parents,” “Discipline problems and the Bus Ministry,” and “Maintaining high morals in the Bus Ministry.” You see there is quite a bit involved in this “ministry.”
Another “ministry” – one brother at ACU has his own unique “ministry” – the “ministry of gymnastics.” He calls it “Gymnastics to the Glory of God.” His “ministry” carries him to appearance at churches, youth camps, youth rallys and workshops where he demonstrates his gymnastic talents. He will do a gymnastic trick and explain that as you have to know how to do such a trick you have to know the “trick” of being a Christian. He also rides a motorcycle, dresses in white and is known as the “White Knight.” If he fails at some trick he makes an object lesson of that, too, explaining that sin sometimes causes us to fail, He believes that through this “ministry” the Lord is having an effect on people’s lives and finds this “tremendously exciting.” Though this “ministry” takes him from home quite a bit, his wife is understanding and supports him in it believing he is “doing God’s work.”
One may wonder when and,what skilled Skateboarder will start a “Skateboard Ministry”. What about a talented tennis player or golfer starting a “Tennis” or “Golf ministry”? And what about a “Skydiving Ministry”? Surely object lessons could be given from these and many other things. It seems the possibilities are unlimited.
Seriously is it so that the ministry of the word (Acts 6:4) and of the gospel of the grace of God (the ministry Paul was engaged in – Acts 20:24) has lost so much of its power (Rom. 1:16) and appeal (Acts 2:41) that we must turn to the wild imaginations and inventions of weak, fallible men to get .the job done? Perhaps some of the liberal brethren wonder how the apostles got along so well and did such a good job without all the present “ministries” to help them. Well, they did have the word of God and they had faith in God and in His way (Isa. 55:8, 9; Mark 16:15).
Truth Magazine XXIII: 8, p. 130
February 22, 1979