I’ve been asking the wrong question.
I was meeting with one of my friends on our staff early this year about what our 20’s ministry needed to do to reach more students at surrounding college campuses. It began as a safe and normal conversation about how we need to improve on what we’re doing as a church to meet the needs of more people. I phrased the question like this, “What do we need to do to meet the needs of college students in our area?” My friend paused for a few seconds and looked up at me and said, “I think we’ve been asking the wrong question. Instead I think we need to be asking, what do college students have to contribute to our 20’s community?”
In that moment our entire philosophy of ministry completely changed. We were able to see how WE were responsible for creating a culture of consumerism because the single question we were asking about all of the unique demographics within our church was the wrong one. We saw that our philosophy had hinged on the fact that we were always running around trying to meet everyone’s needs rather than seek to empower every unique tribe that exists within our church family to contribute who they are in their season of life. Our desire has been to change the question from…
what can we do to meet your needs?
what do you have to give?
We believe that every person, no matter their spiritual or emotional season of life, has something to contribute. We also believe that if we all began to live this way within our church community that we would actually find all of the needs we have spiritually and emotionally being met by one another rather than exclusively through church events and programs.
I think there is a story somewhere about a boy with five loaves and two fish who might agree with me.