Passion Based Ministry
The Holy Spirit is the constant companion of the world. Each person in the world is vitally important to God and so God knows when each of us falls, knows the hairs on our head, knows what drives us. As we heal, through the work of the Spirit in our lives, we are led into caring more deeply for those around us. Many times, this moves from a general sensitivity to a desire to meet a need of an individual. Some times this act expands our vision. Friends of mine made a connection with a transient man in a park and bought him breakfast. A week later they were going to the park and so bought the breakfast as they went and ate with him. The next week they did it again, but then they began to recognize that he wasn’t the only transient person in that park. So, they decided to make a few breakfasts and invite others to join in that situation to join them. They came back to their church and rejoiced over how God was using them. But others then the need had expanded beyond their ability to manage it. They shared that with the church and this moved others to join them and some to support this work financially. This continued for a while, but then the need waned. The enthusiasm waned. The ministry stopped.

A ministry that grows out of a passionate sensitivity can be an act of care motivated by and developed by the Holy Spirit. Many times people focused on the met need and the means of meeting that need, rather than the people whose need is being met. The point of a passion-based ministry is to build communication and community with people who aren’t receiving that. The point is not to keep people in a position of need, for which we will work forever. The point is to bring healing and help, until the people are ready to step on, become strong enough to begin helping others or find a more suitable and helpful place for greater healing to happen in their lives. So, passion-based ministry should wane.

As we offer ourselves to others, especially as we are guided to them through the encouragement of the Spirit, we become one with others, learning them, seeing how we can come alongside them, but not to keep them in a needy position. It’s to see what we can do to assist them to heal and to grow out of this situation. As healing and health happen, we are to see people move on and to move on ourselves. In rare cases a passion-based ministry grows into a full-time, long-lasting mission. The point is equality with others, not dependency.