I’ve been sharing my thoughts coming out of the pandemic regarding how we need to think about moving forward in ministry. I gave an overview of those thoughts here, and then expanded on those thoughts here, here, and here.
This week, I want to expand on my final thought for moving forward: Creative Ministry.
I mention Knights of Agon (KofA) as an example of creative ministry, but right now the program is on hold, due to schedule conflicts amongst the constituents of the program. The plan is to restart KofA later this spring or summer. But let me expound on the ministry as an example of what is possible.
The whole concept behind KofA is to engage children and young teens (and their families) at a place where they have interest. Not a new idea, of course, but one which many churches find challenging because the interests of young people these days do not often align with what churches are used to doing. It began as a electronic gaming ministry, and has expanded to include not only electronic gaming, but also outdoor activities and basic spiritual disciplines. The parents love it because it helps their kids to do what they love to do, while at the same time helping them to expand their repertoire of activities, and to include spiritual disciplines as well. Ric Seaver, the developer of the ministry, has worked hard to engage in this world of electronic gaming (video games and online gaming) and has found a niche. What intrigues me about KofA is that gaming can be couched in terms of Christian character and disciplines. In one recent meeting, Ric had the kids spend a few minutes in total silence as they pondered God and creation. It was only a very few minutes, but it was something so alien to the kids that they were profoundly moved!
We must “think outside of the box” as we move forward in ministry, post pandemic. No longer can we settle for potlucks and picnics, although there is nothing wrong with those (in fact, we could stand to do more!). But we also need to be more creative in developing ministries that meet people where they are.
We are adopting a ministry for autistic older teens and adults that will begin soon. I am trying to get a MentorUp center started here, where men of the church mentor young men who have no fathers in their lives. There’s another idea of a ministry to single mothers who opt to keep their babies or place them in adoption, thus NOT aborting. These things are new to our church, and things that we should be exploring. We cannot wait for people to come to us; we need to go to where people are in their struggles and needs, and meet them with the love of God in Jesus Christ!
But I am not a particularly creative person on my own. I need others with ideas of their own to help spur me on. What if we put our heads together and talked about new, creative ministries? What if we let God work within us to plant seeds and grow new forms of ministry? Would you be open to that?
I know I’m open and ready to engage with new ideas. Look around; we must do some things differently if we want to have different results!
Be watching for opportunities to come together to brainstorm and hash out some of these ideas. Bring your creativity and your courage! The lyrics of the great hymn by Harry Emerson Fosdick, “God of Grace and God of Glory” (#577 in our UM Hymnal) speaks to this: “Grant us wisdom, grant us courage, for the facing of this hour!”
How about it? Are you ready to face the challenge of this hour?