Have you ever felt as if the ministry God gave you isn’t part of the popular group?
Does your ministry feel like a wallflower at the church square dance?
Is everyone else lining up to join the popular ministries?
Do people run when they see you coming with your flyers and sign-up sheet?
You may be part of a a fringe ministry. What’s a fringe ministry?
A fringe is defined as:
an outer edge; margin; periphery:
something regarded as peripheral, marginal, secondary, or extreme in relation to something else:
A fringe ministry is extreme in relation to the rest of the church. A fringe ministry is on the outer edge, often considered secondary. Participating in a fringe ministry requires one to be extremely uncomfortable. You must do hard things. Feel frustration at not being heard. You get the back seat of the bus so to speak. Riding in the back of the bus means it’s cold and you get car sick from all the twists and turns. But God is in control. You must have total trust in God to participate in the fringe ministries.
Adoption/foster care is one of the fringe ministries. I know. It’s one God placed in my lap and in my heart. Often people turn the other way when they see me.
“Oh no, here comes Kathleen, she’s going to ask us to foster children, AGAIN.”
“She’s going to ask us to come to the “Thinking about Adoption seminar.”
If you are a fringe ministry, I am sure you have a similar set of stories.
Fringe ministries are ones that ask for a lifetime commitment of selflessness.
You can’t fake an adoption for Sunday morning service. You have to be committed for the rest of the week to raising a child who may not love you back.
Many fringe ministries look great on paper. Running a food pantry. Visiting the sick. Fixing a roof for someone who can’t afford it. Serving the homeless at a mission. They sound amazing. People “ooo and ahh” over them. That’s wonderful. But you know if God has called you to a fringe ministry, they are full of sweat equity and hanging onto the promises of God for provision for dear life.
A fringe ministry is counting loaves of bread at the day old store and sorting out the moldy ones so you have something to give out in the food pantry.
A fringe ministry sitting calmly with a kid from hard places who has punched a hole in the wall because he can’t regulate.
A fringe ministry is circling verses about provision and praying them when there is no money to keep the building running.
A fringe ministry is begging, knocking on doors, cajoling, begging again that people will listen to the message that God is given you that they need to hear but don’t want to.
Often people don’t want to hear what the fringe ministry is all about because they will have their hearts pricked and they would rather be comfortable.
So… what do you do when your God-sized dream is a fringe ministry? I’ll get into five tips tomorrow.
Hey friend, if you feel as if you are in a fringe ministry, could you tell us about it in the comments? If you’re short on time, just name your ministry in three words or less. We’d love to hear from you.