On Streets and Online
Due to COVID and closures, ministry has morphed in the last year. Online ministry has taken a greater role in every ministry across the world. Many people are afraid—perhaps not rightfully so, but they are nonetheless. Many are still reluctant to shake hands or to stand close by. Just today a woman would not take a pamphlet from me. Instead, she asked me to set in on a bench so she could fetch it after I stepped away. People like this are harder to reach in person. They are not likely to be outside in public places, but safe behind their phones or computer screens. This is why online ministry is so important. It is the modern day market place. It’s where people are. In my last newsletter, I mentioned how my YouTube presence had been greatly amplified. It continues to grow and I’m receiving positive feedback. Just today I received a message from a man who rededicated his life to the Lord after watching one of my videos. I have also received many messages from individuals seeking help or expressing their appreciation for what they have learned. Hundreds, and sometimes thousands, of people watch each video I post. I’m reaching more and more each day.
But this isn’t to say that outdoor ministry has ceased. The Universities have begun to open back up—not to full capacity—but enough to make it worth being out there. Once again, some students are reluctant to engage, but many are. Occasionally, we will get scolded by a student for not wearing a mask while preaching (even though we are much more than six feet away from anyone), but most students are pleasant, with many sitting to listen and some coming to ask questions. I was able to connect a student with a campus ministry just last week.
I suspect that the future of this ministry will continue to be a combination of online and street ministry. Perhaps the freedom to do either of these won’t last for long. But while they are here, we will use them, and when darker days arrive, new methods again will have to be sought.
Counting the Cost
A pastor said to me recently that he felt like America has crossed the point of no return. I don’t know if that is true or not, but what if it is? What if our way of life, our comforts, our worldly security, our loved ones, and our very lives are taken away? What will we do then?
It’s hard for us to imagine that America would ever be a place of Christian persecution, but increasingly it seems like it is becoming just that. Belief’s that Christians have held for thousands of years are now ‘dangerous,’ ‘hurtful,’ and ‘bigoted.’ Right now there are groups sitting down around tables planning ways to force churches to comply with their agenda or be shuttered. Right now activists are eagerly seeking to take away free speech, both online and on the streets. This is our reality and there is no sign of it letting up.
Jesus spoke about the persecutions that Christians would face from time to time. This is why He admonished us to ‘count the cost’ before becoming a disciple of Christ:
If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple. And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it— Luke 14:25-28
Jesus compared our Christian walk to a man building a tower. No man with any sense would start to build a tower without first considering if he had enough money to carry through to the end. He should also consider that there might be unwelcome surprises along the way. Perhaps material costs will increase. Perhaps a costly mistake will be made. Will he have enough to get through?
We must also consider our Christian walk. Do we know what is required of us as Christians? Are we willing to pay the price that a disciple of Christ is required to pay? In modern American theology, many like to think that Jesus paid all the price that needs to be paid. But that’s not true. No-one in the early church embraced that kind of theology. They knew that they also might be called to suffer as Jesus suffered. Of course, our suffering doesn’t earn us salvation, but it is part of the package. Jesus said clearly that no one can be a disciple except the man that bears his cross. If we aren’t willing to bear our cross, we are not His disciples. That is beyond clear. And furthermore, He leaves us with these words. I pray that we would consider them seriously, especially in regards to the dark days that are to come.
So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple. – Luke 14:33
Hal Chaffee Ministries
PO Box 1546
Elkton, MD 21922
Visit halchaffee.com/partnergive to give online.