There’s nothing more time consuming, exhausting, and fulfilling as being a part of ministry in a vibrant and healthy body of believers. If you’re into that sort of thing… For the rest of you, here are just some friendly tips to ensure your Corps dies a slow, fruitless death, giving you plenty of time to focus on taking care of what really matters–yourself. If you’re looking to enjoy a safe, comfortable, stress free life, then simply use these four easy steps and you’ll find yourself with plenty of time to kick back as your ministry dies.
1) Don’t Pray
Samuel Chadwick once said, “The one concern of the devil is to keep Christians from praying. He fears nothing from prayerless studies, prayerless work, and prayerless religion. He laughs at our toil, mocks at our wisdom, but trembles when we pray.” So the most important thing you can do to kill your Corps is make sure everyone works really hard in their own strength until they’re burnt out. That way, they’ll either leave or they’ll become so bitter and angry they’ll just tear each other a part. A lot of Corps have stopped at this step and they’ve had great success at quickly falling into obscurity.
2) Don’t Plan
You’re good at figuring out what to do as you go along. Who’s got time to sit around being still and waiting on the Lord? You’ve got errands and programs and stuff. And TV! You do have a lot of TV to catch up on. After all, like Proverbs 29:18 states, “where there is no vision, the people perish,” so if you’re trying to kill a Corps make sure to coast as much as you can. Sure, you can flip through the lesson plan during Sunday School opening, or throw your sermon together at the last minute (it’ll probably come together by the end, right?). Heck, pick out the songs while everyone is filtering in–just keep coasting. If you really gave the Lord your best effort, he’d probably just bless it and you’d be back to square one!
3) Don’t Change
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! Your Corps has been in steady decline for a few decades now, so you must being doing something right. Along with not planning or visioning, ensuring that an honest assessment of strengths and weaknesses is neglected will keep you on track to the imminent demise you’ve worked so hard for. Honestly evaluating the efficacy of your work might lead you to try new things, or invest resources differently, to reach people for Christ in your community. Just keep your head in the sand and you’ll do just fine.
4) Wear Your Uniform Proudly
You know how Jesus, when he washed the disciples’ feet, disrobed and basically put on the garment of a slave? That’s how the uniform is meant to be worn, as a mark of our humble place in the Kingdom, backed up with a real and genuine humility. But while others might have been ‘saved to save’, or ‘saved to serve’, you were saved to swagger! If you can make the uniform simply a symbol of status, position, or membership, no one will work that hard to join your weird club. So wear it with pride baby! Pride in yourself that is–but only when it benefits you, and make sure you don’t get yours dirty or ragged actually getting out into your community (unless they’re handing out trophies or something).
Blood & Fire Bling?
- Have you seen any of these things kill a Corps (no specifics/names please)?
- How can we change some of these attitudes?
- Have you personally overcome any of these pitfalls in your ministry?
The 4th point was edited for clarity. It originally read, “Others might have been ‘saved to save’, or ‘saved to serve’, but come on! You were saved to swagger! Sure the uniform used to be the mark of a crucified life submitted to the Lordship of Jesus, but if you can make it simply a symbol of status, position, or membership, no one will work that hard to join your weird club. So wear it with pride baby! But only when it benefits you, and make sure you don’t get yours dirty or ragged actually getting out into your community (unless they’re handing out trophies or something).”