It’s the question that the Sanhedrin, called to session by the Pharisees, asked of themselves in regard to Jesus’ ministry (John 11:47-48). I can sympathize with the question, though not with their motivation for asking it.
I see people – mostly younger people – engaged in the kind of ministry that I can clearly see in scripture. The kind of ministry which leads people closer to God through an acquaintance with Jesus, the Christ. The kind of ministry which actually, genuinely, really saves people.
And I look at my little blog and my paltry efforts at New Wineskins and my mostly evangelism-free duties at my church … and I ask the same question.
I’ve blogged for six years now. I’ve been working with the New Wineskins Web site just a little longer. I’ve worked full-time at my church for four-and-a-half.
I can’t point to baptisms, to responses for prayer, to glorious hallelujahs or even vague possibilities. I don’t know the names and stories of most of the people who visit here, or at New Wineskins, or even attend my church. I don’t know if what I think of as my ministry is actually a ministry at all.
I do know the name and the story of Jesus, and I can tell it.
I do know that there are people who are enslaved to the notion of scripture as solely law to be obeyed, and that law makes people slaves to sin (Romans 6).
I do know that knowing God is more important than knowing how to turn scripture into law by obeying the rules of command, example and necessary inference.
I do know that that the Holy Spirit was promised to those who ask, those who believe and are baptized … and He was given to empower disciples. I know that the gift of His presence is still real and active, because the time when perfection comes cannot have yet arrived: we still think and reason as children; we still see and prophesy and know in part; we still see but a poor reflection as in a mirror (1 Corinthians 13). And we still fail to love as we are loved.
I still fail to love as I am loved.
So I will continue to pursue this ministry, whether it garners results visible to me or not. Paul got to plant the seed, Apollos watered it, but it may well have been that only God saw the growth.
I will take this opportunity to express a gratitude felt more deeply than words can describe for those of you who visit and leave a little word of encouragement or disagreement or candor or wider perspective.
You have helped me grow these past six years.