Friday, September 16, 2005

Problem Solving One At A Time

This post is partly in response to Hurricane Katrina aftereffects, partly in response to church growth techniques, and partly in response to ministry as a whole.

This is a personal response, meaning that this is how I view it. I do not necessarily offer this as prescriptive for everyone or the whole Church (though perhaps for the local church).

Part of the problem with followers of Christ in the United States is that we look at a problem in the world and wonder how it can be solved holistically and exhaustively. This is an admirable goal. But it's not pragmatic or realistic and since it is so, we get frustrated

So when we look at a situation, we need to try and see individuals and individual families. As overused as it may be and as hokey as the punchline may sound, the illustration from Chicken Soup for the Soul of the man saving the starfish serves my point well.

Now there are times that if we work together (the Church), we can accomplish great things. But when we bring it down to a local or personal level, we need to realize what we can do without being overwhelmed by the mass of the situation.

We can apply this to how we look at Hurricane Katrina. More regularly, we can apply this when we do ministry in the local church. Don't get caught up in the success of numbers. Don't get caught up just in the workings of a program.

Rather, make a difference one individual or one family at a time.

- J

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