Jim Morris initiated the Kansas Navigator Ministry in the 1960’s. I was privileged to meet him in l972, and subsequently to learn some principles of ministry from him until 1992, at which time he retired as director of the Kansas Navigators. I have chosen two of his most frequently repeated comments about ministry for our consideration. These two are basic to ministry, yet immense in their possible application. They are easy to understand and if we apply them to our lives, they will transform our lives and ministry. Their application to my life has been fundamental to what the Lord has accomplished in and through my life in the last thirty eight years.
The first of these is as follows: “There are two kinds of people in the world; those who need to know Christ, and those who need to know Him better.” It is altogether too easy in my everyday life to converse with people, or have a relationship with them without having any regard as to their eternal destiny. To view everyone I meet as belonging to one of these two categories motivates me to be intentional in my relationships. To be intentional involves at least three things. The first of these is to simply intercede for them. I have discovered over the years that regular prayer for those with whom I am in contact opens up opportunities. Lack of prayer prevents opportunities. The second aspect of intentionality is to simply initiate a relationship. This may be further time in conversation, an offer to pray for a need in their lives, a lunch together, or participating in some activity together. The third is to invite them to look at the Bible together. This may be one to one, or as part of a small group. If they do not yet know the Lord, the word of God is foundational in beginning that relationship. (Romans 10:17) For those who have already begun their journey with Christ, the scriptures are necessary for their growth in Him. (Acts 20:32) I would like to challenge you to be intentional as you walk throughout your daily activities. For whom can I intercede? What step do I take to initiate? When do I invite them to look at God’s word? In our culture, we are accustomed to passing one another as ships in the night. We need to remember the words of C.S. Lewis (paraphrased) “We never meet an ordinary human being. Everyone we meet is destined to become such an object of horror that we would run from their presence, or such an object of beauty and glory that we would be tempted to fall down in worship.”
The second comment of Jim Morris’s that he often repeated is “Everybody can help somebody.” This statement comes from the understanding that everyone who knows Christ has the capacity to share something of eternal value to someone else. It may be a life experience, an application from the word of God, or simply prayer with them and for them. It may involve either a short relationship or one over a period of years. It may have in mind a short term objective, or one that develops laborers for the kingdom harvest. Regardless of the degree of maturity, all believers have something to share with others. This statement also implies a commitment. They not only can help someone, but should be doing so. Helping others is not complicated. It involves three simple tasks of sharing your life experiences, sharing the word of God, and sharing in prayer with them. By these tasks lives are transformed and disciples are made. Jim’s frequent use of this statement went beyond understanding our capacity and our commitment. I think he would also include a responsibility to communicate this truth to others as well. Paul describes this responsibility in II Timothy 2:1,2: “Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.” (KJV)
As I conclude these thoughts, I need to ask myself the following questions. Am I committed to helping others? Does my life demonstrate this? Do I communicate the truth of II Timothy 2:1,2 to others in such a way that their lives are transforming the lives of others? My prayer is that each of us involved in ministry would be enabled by His grace to answer these questions in the affirmative.
In Christ, Richard Spann
One Reply to “Intentionality lived out”
I find it amazing how the simple things are often the most transformational. I remember Jim sharing these two items over and again during our memorize the word sessions. He had such faith in our ability to help people take their next step spiritually and our commitment to say “I can do that”. Thanks for beating the drum again for us.