Ministry, a prison cell?

I saw this photo on a facebook page of a christian retail store, Worship Generation.

image

There is FREEDOM in the name of Jesus. I sincerely believe in that because I have genuinely felt and experienced freedom in Jesus.  What worries me though, is that some christians may not be able to experience this because of…well, a number of reasons.

But let us talk about one: Misinterpretation on commitment.

When I commit to Christ, when I said YES to His invitation in heaven knowing that this requires me to chase after Him in this race called life, I know I am doing a lifetime commitment not only to God but also to His church, my church.

The church is my family that God designed for me to be with. A ministry where I can grow so I can be the God version of me. But it is also a church that God wanted me to help build in order to further His kingdom, in order for the church to be its own God version. This is a calling I cannot refuse to answer.

One thing that bothered me so much though is the analogy of one of the youth leaders of my church on “commitment.” She likened commitment to a ministry to a “prison cell in which you can never be paroled,” a lifetime commitment, so she said. I thought that this analogy was made in an effort to send a message across that being in a ministry is not just for fun, that commitment is not just a fancy word you say flippantly in a conversation with your pastor. It is meant to be taken seriously.

But there is supposed to be freedom in Jesus, right? The truth will set you free and all that. Why should a church member feel they should be imprisoned? My heart breaks because she is just a student, practically a kid and she already feels this way, so old but not mature, so tired of responsibilities. What is happening to the moms and dads of the church? What is happening to the adult ministry? Why are they putting so much weight on this kid? On us, the Youth ministry? I feel so sorry that some of the youth is burdened to the point that they feel that being in a church is like a prison cell. That they speak so like an old person who forgot to put wisdom in their rickety luggage.

I feel so sorry that some may feel this way or you may feel this way. Remember, there is healing, there is freedom in Jesus! No one is supposed to feel like a their trapped in a church. Listen. True commitment does not feel like this. True commitment is when it is not a chore to be serving Jesus, it is not a chore to serve in a church. True commitment produces a cheerful heart, a willing servant-leader whose aim is to chase after God’s heart.

God blessed me with the wisdom and understanding in commitment. Commitment is like marriage in my country, the Philippines, there is no divorce. You have to stay in sickness or in health because you love this church very much, I love my church very much. While I grow in my church, I slowly see the flaws in my church, my eyes are opened, my expectations…they were not met. Many times, I asked myself, “Is it time to leave this church?” Because I was not growing anymore, the church cannot give me what I needed. But I realized I’ve been asking the wrong question. I should be asking God what I can do to help my church, how can I further God’s kingdom. I realized my love for the church grew deeper because of all the heartaches I have experienced, all the flaws I have seen, the broken people I have met with their own testimonies… How can someone not give compassion and grace? How can someone just…leave? I can’t. I have understood my calling. I have understood commitment.

Pray for wisdom on what true commitment really is because if you feel like you are trapped in your ministry, then there is something wrong in the leadership or in yourself. Change your mindset and try to see that you are not alone in building the church of Christ! You are NOT! I repeat you are NOT! You are free, in Jesus’s name.

God bless beautiful people of God 🙂
Stay real, be blessed,
Karisa-kun

instagram and twitter @karisakun

Ministry, a prison cell?