Friday, September 30, 2005

I'm Free

My husband dreamed about being Free. It was unusual in that he felt it was more about his being rather than his doing something in the dream.

He dreamed he had a bucket that appeared fairly clean. He turned the bucket over and a bird plopped out. He turned the bucket back over and it was spotless. He then stood on a chair in a classroom setting similar to a scene in Dead Poet Society, and exclaimed “I’m free.”

Few people understood what he was shouting about. Later he went to work where a man approached him and said quietly, “I heard you are free. So am I.” There was a sense of being understood, a common bond.

If you don’t see the spiritual implications of this dream, well, chances are, you are not free.

As followers of Christ and born again children of God, we are free. Unfortunately, it seems there are many who profess to be Christ followers that are not free. They look at those who are free with a puzzling face. Those who are free find themselves holding back because so few seem to understand. We might even begin to question our sense of freedom.

Then along comes someone else who is free. Oh, what a thrill to be with someone who understands. Someone who knows true freedom in Christ! There is an instant bonding. A unity beyond earthly comprehension even if we have never met before.

I experienced that recently on a trip to Colorado. Heidi from Michigan and Cindy from Louisiana are free. The three of us bonded instantly.

I wonder… are the Children of God frustrated and are non-churched individuals confused because a lot of “Christ followers” have not been born again?

Jesus prays in John 17:20-21 (NIV)

"I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.

Maybe we need to quit trying to unite with those who aren’t free so the world will know the source of freedom.

Just a thought.

For some interesting Barna Group statistics check out

For another blog, another time - John 3:3 “Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.” What does it mean to be born again?

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Mission or Ministry

Who is influencing your decisions? In our desire to minister to the mass we often focus more on the mission than the ministry. This applies to the work place as well as volunteer work. The definition of minister is to give help to somebody in need. Mission refers to a particular task given to a person or group to carry out.

It is human nature to want to help someone in need. The difference for the Christ follower is why we are helping. Is it for the comfort of the individual in need? That is not a bad reason to help. But the Christ follower has a greater cause. That cause is to bring glory to God.

As a ministry leader, people like to give me their opinions of what we should be doing. Since I am somewhat rebellious and more of a people irritator than a people pleaser, I can easily brush off suggestions. This isn’t necessarily a good thing. God sometimes uses the voices of others to guide us in his will.

Whether you are managing a data center or leading women’s ministry, to experience life to its fullest our ultimate influencer must be God. It is not a matter of getting it from God first. It is a matter of spending time alone with God where you can hear and recognize his voice. You can then test the spirit and confirm that God is the influencer by knowing that your decision will in some way (perhaps beyond your full understanding) bring glory to God.

God has given our women’s ministry the mission to function in a non-traditional way. It is our desire to address only the unique needs of women in order to assist them in finding their place in the full body of Christ. This requires careful evaluation of every thought and how we carry out ideas. Without God's influence on every decision, we will easily slip into the traditional ways that are familiar.

Many women enjoy the traditional role of women’s ministry. There is certainly a place for separating women out from the men to encourage and build up that portion of the body of Christ in ways that only woman to woman relationships can. But are we ministering under God’s influence or are we accomplishing a mission to provide pleasure for women based on tradition?

God’s ministry will ultimately unite the body of true believers and bring glory to his name. When we allow God to influence our ministry, we can trust that he will guide us where we need to be. We don’t need to spend time fretting over whether or not we are meeting the needs and desires of every single person we come in contact with.

It is ok that we, as individuals or as a portion of the body, do not meet the perceived needs of everyone. The full body of Christ, influenced by God and for God, will meet the true needs according to God’s will when we seek first the kingdom of God and not the comfort of man.

The next time someone offers you a suggestion for your ministry or you are struggling with issues at work, allow God to be the influencer of your decisions. Then, whatever you are doing, whether in word or in deed, you will be ministering for God’s glory and not to accomplish man’s mission.

the mission:
PROCLAIM the good news; HEAL the sick and oppressed; BRING JUSTICE
~ Luke 4:16-20

Anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing (John 14:12)
~ Jesus 

Copyright 2005-2010 Lisa Biggs Crum
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