Presence Before Projects

One of the ObeyGC2 values is that presence should precede projects.

This was the pattern of Jesus’ ministry. This was the pattern of Paul’s ministry. The presence does not have to be of you personally, but it should be of someone personally if we are talking about discipling someone and not merely announcing the Good News to them. The same principle applies for other forms of ministry besides the “spiritual” forms. In any sort of ministry it is next to impossible to equip people to help themselves and others without a relational presence. First people need to learn how to use what God has given them more effectively. Then they need to learn how to increase their resources and abilities so they can continue to grow and develop. Then they need to learn how to help others do these things. Then and only then (in a development situation) is it the ideal time to consider applying outside resources into a problem. Any time prior to this is disempowering. (Of course these considerations do not apply in a rescue/relief situation, but we often use relief approaches when development approaches are called for. The difference is that a relief situation is a life-saving operation and generally is an acute rather than chronic one.)

Luke 22:24-27

24 Also a dispute arose among them as to which of them was considered to be greatest. 25 Jesus said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors. 26 But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves. 27 For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves.

1 Thess 1:4-7

4 For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you, 5 because our gospel came to you not simply with words, but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake. 6 You became imitators of us and of the Lord; in spite of severe suffering, you welcomed the message with the joy given by the Holy Spirit. 7 And so you became a model to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia.

1 Thess 2:10-12

10 You are witnesses, and so is God, of how holy, righteous and blameless we were among you who believed. 11 For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, 12 encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory.