Andy B 2 Minute Video, Jesus’ Virtual Ministry, S04E059
A cup of tea with a friend can be a great way of spending our time! Talking to someone, seeing the reaction on their face as we say something, helps steer the conversation. It is invaluable feedback to deepen the relationship.
As a preacher, or as a worship leader, that same feedback is really important – it helps us steer how we say things, or how many times we can get away with repeating that same chorus while we try to remember what the next song was supposed to be, or how we’d agreed – with the other musicians – to seamlessly get to that next song and continue the worship (that last one might just be an Andy B thing).
We can be easily led by the reactions of people: there are plenty of people saying they are preachers of God’s word, who are saying things that get them a good response. But I’m not talking about that sort of feedback. Of course it is good to have encouragement when we do something from the front of a church. Validation is important, to some extent. But if we aren’t careful that feedback can both help us to speak more clearly or to help us linger on a point we’re making that needs a little more explanation. But, tragically, it can also encourage us to move on away from something people don’t want to hear and on to something a little less challenging, or to simply skip more volatile biblical topics altogether.
As someone who considers themselves a newbie in the blogging world, I often marvel at the skill and penmanship of the many blogs I read from other Christian writers. Some of them can condense their thoughts so wonderfully, and in such a short space, it regularly baffles me!
We must not look at others and let what they do intimidate us away from God’s calling upon our life either. And, as a Christian, we must not be steered by people’s reactions too much, or see what we do as only relevant or ‘good’ if we regularly receive sufficient likes, comments or re-shares: the only face we need to please is God, and His ‘like’ is the only one that matters. Our task is simply to faithfully undertake whatever He has asked us to do, to the very best of our ability, while knowing that He will equip us to do it.
Jesus travelled about a lot, and was wonderful at the one to one ministering we so often read about. But it struck me that He was, and still is, the master at the virtual ministry.
Now, before you try and burn me at the stake, let me explain what I mean! Consider His speaking from a boat, for example, where He literally put a physical barrier in between Himself and the people He was speaking to; Jesus didn’t minister in person to every person who heard Him speak! (Paul on the road to Damascus is another example of this – Jesus spoke to Him, but He didn’t actually turn up physically, although the result of Him certainly was felt physically!).
When Jesus was speaking to the 25,000 people He is most likely to have had in front of Him at the frequently titled ‘feeding of the 5,000’ those people, even if it was just the 5,000 from the passage heading, would have had little to no chance of speaking with Jesus personally. Which is why we shouldn’t criticise preachers who speak to thousands of people at the same time: the fact we can’t speak to a preacher doesn’t invalidate their approach, or their message. Jesus had mastered this art of delivery some 2,000 years earlier.
Anyway, I digress further than is normal even for me this morning.
Jesus ministers to people today. But He doesn’t do it in physical form – He ascended to heaven, leaving the Holy Spirit behind as The Comforter.
Jesus ministers to us personally, yes – absolutely. But He also ministers to us virtually – through other people, through the record of His life that we have saved for us in the written out words of the Holy Bible, and He ministers to us through prayer, through the Holy Spirit, even though He doesn’t currently walk physically on this earth as a Man.
I’ve heard lots of criticism of larger churches or preachers who the congregation can’t speak with afterwards. Somehow that becomes their justification for criticising them or ignoring what they have to say. But Jesus was doing exactly this form of speaking some 2,000 years ago.
And this is what struck me hard in the last few days – Jesus had a virtual ministry that has survived and grown over 2,000 years and Jesus still HAS a virtual ministry, that is still growing and thriving.
You have a virtual ministry too! So do it for Jesus, whether that is posting a letter to a lonely member of your church family, writing blog posts, preaching to people you don’t get to speak with after or recording what God is saying to you for future generations to be encouraged by.
Jesus loved meeting people in the flesh. But Jesus was the master of virtual ministry too, and in Him we have the best teacher!
Just a thought…
You can Watch the video, Listen to the Audio, or Read the transcript – below!
So another Andy B 2 Minute Video, and I was thinking about the virtual ministry of Jesus.
Everything we do with the BerryBunch is online. And the whole point of our Ministry, the whole way we’ve set it up, all the output that we create, it’s virtual, it’s online. It’s not in person. And I’ve always kind of assumed that Jesus didn’t do virtual ministry. But here’s the thing that struck me as I was thinking about it, and thinking about how God worked, and how Jesus worked, and walked, on this earth.
Because I was recalling how they walked past a village, a town, and they were going to go and Jesus said, ‘no, we’re not going to go there’ and the disciples says, ‘oh, let’s rain down some sulphur and obliterate it’. ‘Cos here’s the thing. Why would they think that if they hadn’t done it before?
We know not everything was recorded. I’m not stating that Jesus went around destroying towns. But, if they’ve suggested it, there’s a good reason for that. And it’s quite possible they’ve seen something like that for them to think of that, otherwise how would they ever imagine that? But they know that it can be done. So, Jesus didn’t go to that place, but they still knew of Him in that town.
When you think about Jesus speaking, we think about quite a few times when He was among people, and they were with Him. And we think of people touching His cloak, and the disciples pushing the children away and Jesus said, ‘no, let them come to me’. But there are also times when Jesus speak, in a boat on a lake separated from the crowd.
When He was speaking to 5,000 people, the feeding of the 5000, we need to recall that 5000 People would be probably nearer to 20 to 25,000 people. There’s no way He was personally ministering to every one of those people, which is encouraging to me because we have an online ministry. But here’s my thought for you today to go and chew on.
Jesus had a virtual ministry, he didn’t always minister in person. So don’t miss out on what you do, that isn’t in person. If you’re sending a card to somebody, you’re not ministering to them in person. It’s a virtual blessing!
We had a call from someone. The personal message is important, but he didn’t say those words, he wrote those words. He put them in a card, and he sent him to us. And they are beyond precious and actually different from him saying it in person, because we have a permanent record of that now. And we have a permanent record of what Jesus said and that is his virtual ministry, that’s ongoing. So don’t discredit people who do online stuff.
Not that anyone’s attacked us. It’s nothing, not a defence of anything.
But don’t think ‘oh it”s not good enough’. Actually, if it’s got God in it, it’s more than good enough.
So my thought today is consider the fact Jesus had a virtual ministry. Jesus still ministers today. He doesn’t walk physically alive on earth anymore, and yet He still ministers to you, and to me, through the recorded word of the Bible, of what He actually said.
The people who he spoke to weren’t able to tell us what He did. But we have a record of what they said, and what he did, and that’s amazing.
So Jesus had a virtual ministry. Do you?
Just a thought
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