Invested Ministry is the heart and soul of authentic Christian ministry. It is the heart and soul of Christian ministry because it is based on the attitude of Jesus. In Invested Ministry we do things to and for people. We even speak things to people. However, these are not the heart and soul of ministry. The heart and soul of Invested Ministry is who we are with people. In fact, Invested Ministry is not something we do from time to time. It is who we are as authentic disciples of Jesus Christ. It does not take a seminary education, though that is an advantage. It does not take years of ministry experience, though that is also an advantage. It takes the Spirit of God living inside a person. It takes the Spirit of God working the attitude of Jesus in his committed followers. This is accomplished through each experience we have in life. The bottom line: Invested Ministry is a way of life.
One does not grow in Invested Ministry by sitting in a classroom. One does not grow in Invested Ministry by going to events. One does not grow in Invested Ministry by listening to a lecture. Classrooms, events and lectures may be a part of growth, however they are not the primary means one grows in Invested Ministry. One grows in Invested Ministry as another brother or sister in Christ walks life with them. They walk life with them until they can walk life as authentic followers of Jesus. They walk life with them until the attitude of Jesus is a way of life for them. Once that is accomplished the new Invested Minister brings another person alongside them. They do this to help them develop the attitude of Jesus. They do this to help them grow in Invested Ministry.
Those who live Invested Ministry know they have been sent by Jesus. They are sent by Jesus with the same attitude with which the Father sent Jesus. This attitude causes his disciples to stop clinging to position, power, possessions or prestige. They gladly lay these aside to authentically demonstrate the humble attitude of Jesus to others. This attitude causes his disciples to empty themselves and to become servants. This attitude causes his disciples to seek one thing and one thing only: serving God by sacrificially serving others. This attitude causes his disciples to identify with people even though their lifestyles and attitudes make them uncomfortable. It causes his disciples to identify with people whose lifestyles may be a stench in their nostrils. This attitude causes his disciples to give people more than just the gospel of Jesus. They are willing to give them their own lives as well.
The motivation of Invested Ministry is not based on receiving. It is based on sacrificially giving to meet the needs of others. It is not a motivation which expects reciprocal actions. Invested Ministry never looks for a convenient way of serving. It looks only at the needs of others. It never looks at its own needs, wants or desires. The Invested Minster does not just express sacrificial invested actions toward people with whom they are comfortable. The Invested Minister seeks out those with whom they would not generally associate. The Invested Minister even seeks out those whom they would otherwise naturally avoid.
Invested Ministry is expressed in deep relationships. These deep relationships are based on strong relational bonds. It is not a ministry that sets a professional distance from any person in need.
In Invested Ministry, meeting people’s perceived needs is not just an opportunity to do good works. In Invested Ministry one does not just feed the hungry or clothe the poor. Invested Ministry uses opportunities to meet the perceived needs of people to build redemptive or transformational relationships. Invested Ministers build intentional sacrificial relationships with those who are not disciples of Jesus. These relationships are focused on demonstrating God’s rich, redemptive love. Invested Ministers also build intentional sacrificial relationships with those who are fellow disciples of Jesus. These are focused on producing the power of God’s rich transformative love.
Finally, Invested Ministry is based on sharing Biblical truth - first by actions and example. It is thus the precursor and basis for understanding Biblical truth shared through speech. How can people understand the sacrificial love of Jesus? How can they understand it if all they hear are ideas? How can they understand it if they never see it constantly and consistently lived out? How can they understand if it is not constantly and consistently lived out by followers of Jesus?
Invested Ministry is hard.
Invested Ministry is difficult.
Invested Ministry is messy.
Invested Ministry is miraculous.
Invested Ministry cannot be faked. It is either authentic or it is only people acting like professional ministers.
Invested Ministry is simply living the attitude of Jesus instead of the attitude of the culture surrounding us.
Invested Ministry is not for the chosen few or the Christian elite.
Invested Ministry is not optional for those who follow Jesus. It is not an add-on to the basic model.
Invested Ministry is normal Christian life.