What is Bench Ministry?
Bench Ministry is about being intentional in nurturing relationships that are authentic, safe, vulnerable, and grace-filled.
Ever since World War ll, there has been an increasing pull toward being self-reliant, independent, unique, individual. All good things in moderation. An astounding array of advances in technology have taken us far from life as our grandparents and even parents knew!
Long ago, families lived in the same communities for their entire lives. Sitting on a front porch in the evening and passing time with neighbors was common. As modern conveniences, changing economic reality, technology, and transitioning family systems impact community, a level of disconnect has been integrated into our lives.
No matter how independent and modern we become, nothing can replace the needs humans come hardwired with.... a sense of belonging, that one's life matters; touch; face-to-face interaction; and love.
When considering how best to minister to the people in your realm of influence, it is vital to ask "what did Jesus do in His time amongst us?"
Quite simply...He waded out into humanity reaching towards the sick, lost, broken-hearted, hopeless, and enslaved. He joined people where they were and invited them to community with Him. He was frequently found at table, breaking bread with those the religious community spurned as unclean and unworthy.
Jesus didn't teach complex religious concepts. He used story as a means to reach those longing for spiritual, emotional, social, and familial healing.
His ministry model was summed up this way: "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another." John 13:34 NIV
All who believe in Jesus are called to this same ministry. A ministry of community. Of walking out into your world arms and heart open seeking those you can invite into community.
"By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:35 NIV
Intentionally creating meaningful safe relationships which foster a sense of connectedness and community in your sphere of influence.
[Sphere of Influence]
Family, friend, work, church, and community groups in which you have the ability to effect change in the beliefs, actions, and choices of others.
Connecting with others in a way that allows them to express their individuality and belief system without shaming, judging, or marginalizing their journey.