Because no one person or church, no single nonprofit or denomination, can touch every marginalized person or make the widespread, systemic changes that are needed to upend injustice in this world. Community maximizes effectiveness.
We also benefit from the wisdom inherent in the presence of diverse voices at the table. Partnership also allows us to take sabbath when we need to, an essential ingredient when doing hard work over the long haul, which justice work always entails.
Because we not only do more good when we work in community—we also do a lot less damage! Strong, diverse community provides accountability (checks and balances) and protection from our blind spots. In ministry, if we don’t build equality and true partnership with those we seek to “serve”—our good works can easily become exploitative.
Because it’s biblical. As God incarnate, Jesus didn’t need disciples to accomplish his purposes, but in calling together that motley group of 12+ friends, he modeled for us the power and the safety, the courage and the comfort that result when we work together towards a common goal. Even when Jesus split them up for ministry purposes, he made sure they each went out with a partner, before returning to the group. Likewise, the Apostle Paul stressed the importance of functioning as a body, a community characterized by mutual respect, collaboration, and interdependence.
Holistic Ministry models God’s concern for the total well-being of people and communities. It means an incarnational lifestyle of integrity, compassion, and invitation, through God’s
redeeming love and transformational power.
Holistic ministry is the practice of God’s people based on the full implications of the Gospel: that the good news of Jesus Christ is salvation for the whole person—body, mind, spirit, and social relationships—and for the whole of existence—creation, nations, and sociopolitical structures.
Holistic ministry proclaims the Gospel for all by both word and deed with a special focus on the materially or spiritually poor.
The root meaning of the word “holistic” is whole, from the Greek holos. Christians recognize that the world is broken and incomplete, falling far short of the glory God intended at the dawn of creation. Through holistic ministry, Christ’s redeemed community responds to the world’s brokenness by proclaiming and modeling the joy of a right relationship with God in Christ, and participating in the ongoing Kingdom work of personal and social restoration. As Christ is making us whole, God’s Spirit works through us to bring wholeness to others.
Holistic ministry can be summarized as: Reaching your community with the whole gospel for the whole person through whole churches.
For more on holistic ministry, please read here.
God intended his people to live in shalom–peace with justice. And as we pursue justice, we are also called to be people of God’s peace.
Peace (Hebrew: shalom) is not the absence of conflict. Rather, it is the presence of peace in our relationships. Wolterstorff describes shalom as dwelling in peace in all relationships: in relationship with God, in relationship with self, in relationship with others, and in relationship with God’s created world.