Picture of Jay McSwain
Jay McSwain

Founder & President
PLACE Ministries

What is the Next Trend in Ministry?

Dear Ministry Leader,

Technically this is a marketing piece, but I don’t want you to see it this way. Yes, in order for my ministry to operate I need to sell resources, and in order to sell, I have to market my material to current and potential customers like you. However, that is not the real heart of this letter. The heading above has the question “What if the next trend in ministry happened 2,000 years ago?” It references a familiar passage of Scripture in Matthew 16: 13-15-17 where Jesus, after asking Peter, “Who do people say that the Son of man is,” asked him directly, “But who do YOU say that I am?” We know the answer and the rest of the story, but the question that Jesus asked Peter is the reason for my appeal to you today.

 

Jesus knew Peter on an individual basis. In short, He had a relationship that enabled him to be disciple. In a world that looks for the next trend to reach the masses, Jesus, two thousand years ago reached the individual. Sure he reached the masses at times, but the bulk of His time was spent with His disciples. I won’t belabor the point, we all are so familiar with Peter’s life found in the pages of the Bible. But think with me for a minute about the transformation of Peter’s life. From the Gospels, through the book of Acts, and finally through his writings (1 and 2 Peter) you can clearly see the impact of the time that Jesus invested in him personally. From fisherman to apostle, Peter was radically transformed as a result of Jesus spending tie teaching him, equipping him, empowering him, and ultimately mobilizing him. There was a purpose in doing so because there was a purpose for Peter’s life. I can’t help but the same is true for you ministry and your people. God has a purpose for each individual.

 

Like you, much of my ministry has been focused around helping equip and empower God’s people to do the work of the ministry (Ephesians 4:12). I know firsthand that the opportunity that you have is like none other. God has placed you at the crossroads of the lives of believers to direct them toward the purpose He has for them. I know that you must provide programs and mission opportunities for the large group and I think it is vital to do so. But my appeal to you simply is this:

Don't let the busyness of doing group ministry get in the way of equipping the saints (Eph. 4:12) at the individual level. Sadly, in many areas across the country this is the reality and the trend. But I believe that the opportunity to empower the individual hasn't changed in 2,000 years.

I believe this so strongly that I have spent my life and ministry developing resources to help the ministry leader reach the individual and the individual to reach their God-given potential. If I can be of service either through the resources I’ve developed for God’s people or to you personally, it would be my privilege to come alongside you in this great opportunity that God has given to you.

Serving Him Together,

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