The apostle Paul told the Philippian Church that “God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19, KJV). In this statement Paul addresses a major factor in ministry and church growth. The church needs to find the need and then fill it. You will find that there is a direct correlation between the level of our success and the degree to which we solve the needs of people. In this blog I am going to deal with three things, namely, the fact that Jesus was a problem solver, finding the problem, and finally, the answer to the problem.
Jesus was a problem solver
Everywhere Jesus went He solved people’s problems. Where there was hunger, He multiplied and supplied food. Where there was sickness, He provided healing. When money was needed, specifically to pay taxes, he supplied those finances by catching a fish. Everywhere Jesus went, He solved the needs of the people. For ministry, and really in every area of life, Jesus is our example. The church needs to find the need and then fill it.
Finding the problem
In the opening verse, Paul declared, “But my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19, KJV). Of course, the question is, what is your need? People have changed in the last twenty years; therefore, their needs are different. The needs people had a number of years ago are much different than the needs of many people today.
Think about some of the differences of this generation to past generations. This generation does not need adults to get information. This generation has information everywhere and at their fingertips. They don’t need us for information, but rather, for interpretation. Another example has to do with their emotions. This generation can broadcast their every thought and emotion in real time. For example, thanks to Twitter we now know the thoughts and feelings of the President of the United States of America on an almost daily basis. This generation can send messages to huge populations. They have a megaphone in their hands, but most of these young people have not be equipped to harness it. One last example is that this generation is socially connected at all times, but often they connect in isolation. The fact is, this is the most connected generation in history- but also the most isolated. They’re rarely disconnected, yet they are lonely because their connection is virtual and in seclusion.
The key is to intentionally work to understand this generation. We need to see our harvest field with a missiological outlook. In other words, we need to think of our field of labor as a mission field. If you were called to a South American culture, you would want to try to understand that culture; the way they operate, their worldview, so that you might penetrate that culture with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The missional church recognizes the dynamic interplay of church, gospel, and society. It is a church that understands that God calls and sends the disciples of Jesus Christ to be a missionary in their own society and in the cultures in which they find themselves. Again, it is finding the need and then fill it.
The answer to the problem
The wonderful thing is, the church has the answer. That answer is Jesus Christ. There is no problem too large, no mountain too high, no river too wide that God, through His riches and power cannot provide the answer. Robert Schuller had what he called the possibilities thinkers creed. It goes like this:
When faced with a mountain, I will not quit!
I will keep on striving
Until I climb over,
find a pass through,
Or simply stay
and turn that mountain
into a gold mine,
with God’s help!
My point is, God will make a way because God is a problem solver and so is His church.