Terry W. Dorsett on the Dreaded Ministry Bubble

Bubbles form on the surface of a cup of coffee in a cafe in New York, April 11, 2014. (REUTERS/Carlo Allegri/File Photo)
Bubbles form on the surface of a cup of coffee in a cafe in New York, April 11, 2014. (REUTERS/Carlo Allegri/File Photo)

Terry W. Dorsett is the executive director of the Baptist Convention of New England.

After watching historic political events recently unfold and talking to dear friends on both sides of the issues at hand, I am once again reminded of how dangerous it is to live in a bubble of our own making. A political bubble has its obvious challenges, but a spiritual bubble can affect us just as much.

Social media and our increasingly segmented marketing strategies allow us to immerse ourselves in specific ways of thinking about ministry and spirituality. While this has the potential to make us an “expert” on certain things, when we surround ourselves with only one viewpoint we can also become blind toward things that do not fit our own narrative.

Different Means

Not long ago I was chatting with a ministry volunteer who was passionate about youth ministry. He was incensed that he could not get his church to fund a significant youth event he was trying to pull together.

In frustration he said, “All my church cares about is the building. They have no interest in reaching teens for Christ.”

I reminded him that the church had set aside a significant portion of its building as the “youth room” — and had spent considerable funds to make that room the way the youth worker wanted it. At the youth worker’s request, they had also upgraded the technology in the building to make it more appealing to teens. The pastor had even been finding ways to incorporate teens into the morning worship service.

As the youth ministry volunteer considered these things, he realized that the church actually was committed to reaching teens, but he had become so focused on the specific event he was trying to organize that he didn’t see everything else the church was doing. Though still very passionate about youth ministry events, the youth worker was able to peer outside his bubble, and see how the commitment his church had to caring for its building that was also helping him in youth ministry.

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Source: Baptist Press