Focus on People

Here's a great quote from a great book I just finished about ministry.

"Ministry is about people not programs. If we never think about people individually and work out where they are up to, and how and in what area they need to grow, how can we minister in anything other than a haphazard, scattergun way? It's like the doctor thinking to himself, "Seeing each of my patients individually and diagnosing their illnesses is just too difficult and time consuming. Instead, I'm going to get all my patients to assemble together each week, and I'll give them all the same medicine. I'll vary the medicine a bit from week to week, and it will at least do everybody some good. And it's much more efficient and manageable that way."

Love this concept.

This isn't to devalue the importance of what happens Sunday morning. To carry the illustration further - there are certain things (like vitamins, for example) that every patient should take. The dispersing of vitamins might happen most efficiently if the doctor assembles his patient. But if that is the full extent of his treatment, he had better have a pretty good malpractice attorney.

The best method for a cure is to tailor-make the treatment to the patient. If you're not focused on the messy individual lives of people, your ministry will be limited to a haphazard ministry at best; a malpractice case at worst.