I was reading Mark 9 when I stopped at verse 40, in which Jesus says to his disciples: “for whoever is not against us is for us.” How often have I limited my dreams because I felt I needed to get someone’s permission. Certainly there are times when permission is not only wise but required. For example, a church can’t change its structure without the permission of its members and Superintendent.
But when it comes to ministry–starting a new ministry, a new worship service, a Fresh Expression of church–many times there’s no need to get the formal approval of the church. As long as the activity furthers the mission and is in alignment with the church’s vision and goals and the necessary funds are available, assume those who haven’t voiced opposition are with you. Go for it!
I think most of us have heard the mantra “It’s easier to ask for forgiveness than permission.” I hear Jesus’ words echoing that sentiment. So, what is holding you back? If you’re waiting for everyone to get behind your ministry idea, that you believe God is behind, stop and “Just do it!” as Nike would say.
Ed Fenstermacher, Associate Director of Church Development