Pastor’s Corner 7/7/19

Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
      Are you familiar with the difference between “comfort” and “challenge” ministries? Comfort ministries see people drowning in a fast-moving river and seek to rescue and care for them until they are back on their feet again. Challenge ministries ask “why are there people in this river?” These ministries then continue to ask “why” and “what” and “how” as they follow the river upstream until they get to the source of the problem and seek to address THAT.
       Both are motivated by the desire to care for the needy as Jesus instructs, and serve the same population, but with very different impacts. This is not to say one is better than the other. As with so many things in life, this is not an either/or situation, but both/and.
        Part of living out our faith is indeed to care for those in need. And part of our task is also to keep God’s beloved from being harmed in the first place. As with healthcare, this is the difference between tending / healing the sick and preventative / wellness care. If we have more of the second, we need less of the first. Unfortunately, the second often doesn’t look as necessary, nor does it have the same immediacy. It takes vision, patience and perseverance to keep going when there is no one to say “thank you for keeping me from drowning ‘someday’.”
         As we get to know each other, I invite you to share with me your thoughts about the opportunities for us to be in ministry in Helena and further afield for purposes of both comfort and challenge. I trust that together, we may be a blessing, indeed.