Friday, September 24, 2010

Facing a minsitry disaster, welcome to Pauls world

In 2 Corinthians 11 v 23 - 28 we get a resume of Paul's ministry:

I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again.
24 Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one.25 Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea,26 I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my own countrymen, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false brothers.27 I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked.28 Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches.

This seems out of place in our western 21st Century church. Somehow with this list of disasters I don't think Paul would have been invited to the latest church conference to share the secret to his success. From that list of disaster his ministry must have been in trouble! Really?

Of course we know much more about Paul's dynamic ministry looking back now. But back then it looks like the churches were getting sucked in by so called "Super Apostles" (v5).

Paul decides time and time again to boast in his weaknesses. Maybe just a lesson for us church leaders about how we talk about our churches. Some of us seem to be trying to impress other pastors not Jesus. And a lesson for each of us:

If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness. - 2 Cor 11 v 3


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