I am sure that there are those who are wondering why we would pick up and move to take on a ministry with Impact Ministries International. Not only will this require an eventual move to South Bend, IN but it also involves raising our own support. The most important reason for this ministry is that we believe this is God’s leading and that is the most important reason of all. We have spent to many years trying to navigate life based on the things we think we want and then asking for God’s blessing as if it where his idea rather than fully seeking his will and direction and being willing to run with it.
Another factor that is a huge consideration is the serious need for campus ministry. We lose Christian students everyday because their faith and beliefs are constantly under attack by those esteemed as “intellectuals” in the collegiate setting. There are unknown numbers of students who have never been reached to begin with and they are in need of positive influences. I just read the following “Dear Abby” in the newspaper this week that really sums it up.
“Dear Abby: I am 20 years old and during this past year I have been exposed to more drugs than I ever thought possible. I have tried many of them–from prescription drugs, marijuana, and cocaine to ecstasy.
I know my decisions were reckless. Abby, I am writing this in the hope of reach out to anyone who will listen. I was blessed that I didn’t become addicted and even luckier that I’m still alive. There are those who are not as fortunate as I am. I have heard more stories about drug abuse, overdoses, and drug related deaths in my town that I can handle. I want to change this. I want to make a difference. But I need help. How can I get involved and make people in my community more aware that our town has a problem?”
I believe personal intimacy with God is my first step in ministry. As I grow in my intimacy then I can bring those around me on the journey and help them develop personal intimacy with him too. It is the intimacy with God that will have a far greater impact than anything I can do, plan, or develop. This is where we drop the ball so much. We get hung up on following a certain set of doctrines and “core beliefs” to the point where it is possible to be doing all of the right things still be miserable and not be living the way Jesus teaches us to live. The purpose is not to get people to intellectually agree to our doctrines and core beliefs. The goal is to live as Jesus teaches us to live… that can only come when we are intimate with the Father, through Jesus Christ.
Impact Ministries places its emphasis on this kind of intimacy. We do not aim to make an impact or to have fruitful ministries. We believe these things will supernaturally occur when an individual develops intimacy with God. We can’t control the kind of impact but we have absolute control in developing intimacy with God. It is a matter of the heart. We cannot allow “ministry for God” to crowd intimacy with God out of our lives.