A few years ago, we hired an arborist to trim some large trees that surround our home. The arborist looked up at our largest tree and said, “It would be good to thin some of the branches so the wind can move through the tree.”
The model of the Western Church is undergoing a trimming. What is being trimmed is our model of ministry, not the actual ministry itself. We have a lot of limbs we think are critical to the advance of the Gospel that may get in the way of what God wants to do. We tend to believe our model is sacred and unchangeable. The Lord is very capable of accomplishing even more after a season trimming if He is allowed to move freely through areas we thought should have remained forever unchanged.
This week, I had the opportunity to spend time with two pastors. Both pastors have had their ministry model drastically trimmed in the last few months. But something very unique has been taking place as a result of the trimming. Because of the wise use of technology, more people are logging on to hear their messages than ever would have attended a typical church meeting. In one case, thousands more. The giving is also up in both churches from online sources, and as a result, they are able to help those in need.
God's creative abilities did not stop at Creation. He is always creating and recreating, even our models of ministry. You might feel like a tree undergoing a drastic trim job. Trimming should not always be interpreted as something negative. It might be God preparing the way for a fresh wind of His Spirit to flow through your life and ministry.