There is no “one size fits all” approach to ministering to people.
As ministry leaders, Jude advises us to adjust our methods to the person being ministered to.
“And you must show mercy to those whose faith is wavering. Rescue others by snatching them from the flames of judgment. Show mercy to still others, but do so with great caution, hating the sins that contaminate their lives.” Jude 1:22-23
1. Show mercy to those who are doubting.
“And you must show mercy to those whose faith is wavering…”
Those who are struggling with their belief in God do not need someone yelling at them. They need mercy. They need someone to come alongside them and assure them of their faith.
2. Rescue others more aggressively.
“Rescue others by snatching them from the flames of judgment…”
This phrase implies that some people need a more aggressive approach to get their attention. I’m still not promoting yelling on the street corner. I believe that even our more aggressive attempts to reach people need to motivated and seasoned by grace.
Sometimes we need to sit across from someone and tell them the hard truths they need to hear without sugar coating it. Some people will respond better to a loving warning than a hint.
3. Be careful that you don’t end up tolerating sin and becoming contaminated.
“Show mercy to still others, but do so with great caution, hating the sins that contaminate their lives.”
It is helpful to spend time with the people you are ministering to. The danger comes when they end up influencing you way more than you are influencing them!
As you make friends with non-believers and wavering believers be sure that you also have a solid group of Christians to keep you grounded. Also watch yourself and make sure that you are not falling into the same sins the people you are reaching out to are.
What are some ways of discerning which ministry methods to use for different people?
Share on Facebook or Twitter or post a comment. Get daily updates by subscribing by email. From my reading in Jude 1 in the One Year Bible New Testament.