Messy Ministry


Graham MessyThis is a picture of my son…
my son who hates to get messy.
Why he thought he would like having a green hand…
I don’t know.

I took him into the bathroom of the restaurant…
put his hand in the sink…
I witnessed…
green… everywhere… running down the drain.

Most of it came off…
Most. Of. It.

The story of my son’s green hand reminds me a lot about ministry.
Ministry is messy.
People are messy…
with stories that are messy.

This past weekend at our student ministry’s Super Bowl Party…
My daughter came up to me and whispered…
“Daddy… someone told me to shut the f@*& up.”
After I picked my chin up off the ground…
I said… “WHO!!!”
She said I will show you.

She showed me…
I talked to the young man.
He didn’t say it to her…
but he said it.
I used the opportunity to teach him…
be careful what you say…
respect the House of God…
and that innocence is to be protected.

I saw him last night.
He ran up to me…
“Has your daughter said that word again?!?!?!”
I said no… and I gave him a hug…
and told him that I love him.
He said he was worried that she would.
Then he said… “I shouldn’t talk like that anyway.”

He’s getting it.
The words that we say matter.
Ears are listening.
Even little ears.
Little ears that come with little mouths.
Little mouths that repeat the words that those ears hear.

This is the price of messy ministry.
I wish that my little girl wasn’t involved.
But I used it as an opportunity to teach her too…
I can’t guard her from ever hearing that word…
as much as I wish that I could.

I’m thankful that God has given me a ministry that is messy…
filled with messy people…
with messy stories.
Because the same God that has given me that ministry…
is the same God that walks each one of us to the bathroom…
holding our hand…
He puts our lives in the sink…
as we witness the entire mess run down the drain.
The. Entire. Mess.

Don’t procrastinate ministering to messy people…
Jesus did.

So should we.

What is the most difficult part of ministering to messy people for you?

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Messy Ministry

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