Prayer 7:13 Prayer 713
North Highland United Methodist Church
Sunday, December 17, 2017
Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors

 

 

Ministry and Silos-

It’s certainly not an unusual sight driving across the Dakotas to see silos of all sizes and shapes. The look of silos has changed a great deal over the past several years to keep up with agriculture needs and techniques. Silos are an important part of that business, and I don’t pretend to really know much about them beyond the basics, and the fact that they separately store things away.

In Luke’s gospel 12:13-21, there is a moment when a man approaches Jesus for help in settling a family dispute about inheritance and possessions. And true to Jesus’ character, he responds with a parable about the dangers of build-ing bigger barns or silos to store up things simply for oneself—in that case, produce and goods. In the parable one is storing abundantly only for himself and God comes in and calls him a fool—because that very night his life was going to be over. In the Message paraphrased Bible Jesus’ punchline is that’s what happens when you fill your barn with SELF and not with God."

I’m pretty sure that this parable isn’t only about storing grains and harvest bounty. It is about everything and anything we may be tempted to hoard just for us. It can even be seen in ministry settings and church. One person or group begins to believe or act as if the ministry or project most dear to their heart is the only one that matters. And that ministry becomes not only the prime focus, but can begin to be very narrowly identified. Words even creep in like "my" group or mission or project.

Silos are not a good way to function within a church. We all find ways to work toward the same goals—outreach, sharing of Christ’s message of hope, and learning together how best to live out our faith. We work together, share together, and sometimes adjust to various current needs. Certainly there are times when one ministry is a greater focus for the moment. Certainly there are times decisions need to be made that may require adjustment. Certainly there are times when we seek new ways to work together so that every ministry or group or study has an opportunity to make a difference. We are different peo-ple of different ages with different needs. And we try to be the church together even if it means that sometimes there are changes or adjustments.

When the UMW has their Soup Supper, many will take part. When the Mis-sions Committee organizes Coats for Kids or Shoebox Christmas many take part because its purpose fits the mission of the church; and so on. Silos are not a good image for the church—the body of Christ for the world. We are all a part of the ministry of North Highland UMC. We are the church together!

Onward we go into another year of ministry together!

Pastor Lou

October 2017