Ministering in Changing Times

 

Raul Elizondo is the Senior Pastor at New Life at the Cross in Robstown TX. Pastor Elizondo is an adjunct faculty member at Stark College & Seminary, and an alumni of  Logsdon Seminary. Currently, Pastor Elizondo is pursuing a Ph.D. in New Testament Studies at B.H. Carroll Theological Institute. This article shares the challenges Pastor Elizondo has faced recently and seeks to inspire other Stark College & Seminary leaders to continue being faithful to God’s call to serve others.

 

The New Life Family defines ministry as “meeting a person’s need in the name of Jesus.” In a world that is changing by leaps and bounds on a daily basis, one constant and never changing area of this world are the broken lives of human beings. Our world is made up of broken and hurting human beings whose lives are filled with needs which can only be met by our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Even with all the changes in our world today and all the advancements in the many areas of technology, surprisingly, the needs of individuals are still basically the same and remain unchanged. The biggest need in a person’s life and basis of all human need is the broken relationship between a person and God. This fragmented relationship can only be reconciled through God’s Son, Jesus Christ.

The New Life Family continues to minister to broken people by relating to people just like Jesus did when he walked the earth. We focus on the person and not the need. If the need becomes more important than the person, the individual can be dehumanized and becomes a project for someone else to come and fix. Jesus never let the need overshadow the human being. Jesus would meet the person where they are at and minister to them but never looking down at them or making them feel less than anyone else. Jesus’ love would allow him to help the person and at the same time remind the same person that he or she is special, unique, and favored because of God’s love. Jesus would minister to the need of the person and restore that person’s dignity.

Through the recent changes amidst pandemics, social distancing, face masks, politics, and racial tension, the New Life Family has simply remained flexible in meeting the needs of people. The methods of ministry change with circumstances but the driving force of ministry should always be the love for God and love for our neighbor. When the needs of people are met because of love; Jesus is lifted up, God is glorified, and joy is produced in the lives of those ministering. Love and not guilt is the foundation of ministering to others in the name of Jesus. Individual lives not statistics should be the focus of ministry. Most important, it is an old rugged cross on a hill far away that empowers believers and the church to not only meet the needs of a broken world but to place the needs of others before their own.