One of the many strange words that Jesus uttered the one that sticks in my mind is “In my Father’s house there are many rooms. I am going there to prepare a place for that where I am you will be also” (John 14:2). This snippet is quoted during funeral services as encouragement for the family that their loved one will be in Heaven waiting for them. For the disciples, it was an encouragement to continue and press onward (Phillipians 3:14) in other words, “the ministry doesn’t end with me and it is not a “one size fits all”. Each of us has different qualities, skills, and passions because of that, the ministry outreach has to be diverse and willing to adapt to the needs of an ever-changing world. G_d is ok with using our flair in developing our ministry. People that come to salvation are welcome no matter where they are in life, how bad or good their financial status may be, marital status, etc – they are all welcome and there is and will always be room for them. The people coming to salvation will learn for a season and can branch out. For us to dwell in G_d’s house, we must understand, just like the disciples had to understand, that our headship is Christ Jesus (Colossians 1:16-18).
Today, just like a generation ago, churches have to meet the ministerial needs of the people. A church on one side of town may be different from a church on the other side but both are churches of the Sovereign Lord Jesus. Each of us is entitled to our theological differences and G_d ministers to each of us where we are but that doesn’t mean “that’s how G_d does things”. When Peter ministered to the Roman Centurian, he was called on the carpet for violating Jewish law by eating with a Roman until Peter fully explained the situation and how he was led by the Spirit of G_d (Acts 11). If we can get past our theological differences and work together we can accomplish a whole lot more than we can as separate entities. For the disciples this meant people working together in a union or family unit despite the things that separate them.
In the synoptic Gospels, each of the writers addressed the words of Jesus from separate perspectives but all told the same story. When you look at the book of John, it ministers to the diaspora or, “dispersed people of Judah” explaining that Jesus was/is the Messiah of G_d. Matthew ministered to the Jews, Luke, and later the book of Acts was to the greeks or non-Jewish audience, and Mark or John Mark (Acts 15:36-39) to the 1st-century church which was a composite church that is, it had greeks and Jews. The central focus of all four canonicals was on “salvation through Jesus”. In each of the gospels, the references point to something the audience would understand like an experience, cultural story, and or a historical character. It is for this reason that there are pseudepigrapha, Septuagint LXXI, and Greek references that we miss because we read it in English.
My point is, for the minister to be successful, he/she has to know the populace he/she will be ministering to and adapt to the changes but the cornerstone must be on Christ the Messiah of G_d (Pslams 118:22). Ministry has never been nor ever will be a “one size fits all”. There is room for everybody in the church.
Peace In His Name