Everyone wants to feel like they are a part of something, like they matter, and that they fit in. If you’ve ever seen a person or a group of people that looked “cool” to you, and you thought, “I sure would like to be a part of their group,” then this one is for you.
Just recently, I put myself out there with a group of people. They said that they were a group of Christians serving the community as their ministry. I was impressed with them at first due to how it appeared initially. I wanted to be a part of this group, too, because I felt like we had a common desire to serve alongside each other.
Before too long, I started to hear some things from others that had been involved with this group. I did not want to believe it at first, and so I reserved comment as I had not observed these things myself. I actually sat almost in complete disbelief at some of the things I was hearing. Still, it was not my place to pass judgment even though I heard some things that a friend said happened to her son while attempting to be a part of this ministry opportunity. Harsh words were spoken to her child from these very people. That floored me! Sadly, it hurt them so much that they refused to return to any function that this ministry held. Not only that, but during the time spent involved in this ministry, they witnessed these Christians using foul language.
This group, that I once longed to be a part of, slowly started showing themselves to me, too. I tried to make excuses for them initially, but then it became too obvious that what they “said” they were about and what they actually were about were two different things.
Listen up, please!
Just because someone “says” that they are a ministry does not mean that they truly are.
Just because someone “says” that they are Christians does not mean that they act in the manner that a Christian would.
Just because someone “says” that they want to help others does not mean that a price tag will not be attached to this later on down the road.
Sadly, the group that I initially wanted to feel a part of and wanted to be included in started to reveal their true colors. As it turned out, there was not a single thing in their “ministry program” that honored God when the group gathered together. They did not open in prayer. They did not have a devotion of any kind. They did not mention the name of Jesus when they would meet up with those that they were looking to “minister” to. At first, I said they must have been so busy that they forgot, but how can you forget if your sole purpose was supposed to be a ministry? You’re supposed to be working and helping others as a Christian ministry, and yet nothing is said or done to honor God when they meet together? There is something wrong with this picture!
Also, let me be clear on this point, too. Quoting scriptures on your Facebook page alone does NOT make up for not including Jesus in the course of your face-to-face time in your ministry with others, especially children! You are supposed to be setting an example and being a role model for these children. You are their mentor, and yet, no mention of Jesus is made during the interactions? I found that extremely odd! We went to this “ministry” for several months. At no time did they incorporate Jesus into their program. How truly sad for a Christian ministry involving children especially!
This “ministry” was “not-for-profit,” yet, they solicited “donations” often from participants. It’s different than “giving tithes,” although they equated supporting their ministry to that of paying tithes to the church. I’m sorry, but that truly IS different in my opinion no matter what they say.
There were several other things that took place with items that were donated, and yet they turned around to encourage participants to purchase those items for top dollar. I have a problem with this especially when these items donated were donated by individuals who thought that the items would remain with the ministry forevermore. That simply was not the case, though, and the ministry sought to make a profit from those items without fully disclosing this to the givers or the participants.
Further, when money becomes the primary topic of conversation and pressure to give large sums of money is applied repeatedly, I tend to dig my heels in a little harder. Pressuring me and my family will not get you the result that you want. If I felt 100% in my heart that the ministry was real, true, and genuinely seeking to help people, pressure would not need to be applied for me to give. I would willingly do so to support something I felt so strongly about.
There were several red flags that went up during the course of time spent around these individuals supposedly running this ministry. I ignored them as much as possible because I wanted to believe only good things about them. I supported them, although not financially, in a lot of ways and encouraged others to participate … until I started to see who they truly were! My husband has said before that people will show you who they really are if given enough time. Sadly, this is true in this case.
What I, personally, witnessed was a scene involving MY child. The individuals running this ministry spoke harshly to my child, resulting in her being hurt terribly and crying almost uncontrollably. It happened in front of a large group of people, too. When it started, I spoke up to let them know that what they were doing was NOT right. They later apologized to my child, but the damage was already done.
I witnessed other less-than-Christian behaviors, and then I knew that it was time to pull back completely. In doing so, I thought that it was really sad that a few short months ago, I so desperately wanted to be a part of this group. I wanted to be accepted. I wanted to fit in. I wanted to be “good enough” to be in their ministry, too! Now, though, the blinders have come off, and I can see clearly.
What is so ironic is that the people in charge of this ministry have said untrue things that have come to light recently. Also, now they are saying to others (not directly to me or my family but to outside sources that have come to me with this) that we are not a good fit for their ministry. In this case, I’m so glad that we’re NOT! It seems that we were a good fit when they wanted our financial support, but when we refused to give it, they deemed us as not being a good fit and actually told an outside source that they preferred that we did not come back.
I’ll admit that as the above situation played out, it hurt. It stung. I felt like I had been kicked in the teeth. Yet, all I can do is pray for the individuals involved. They could make this a wonderful ministry if it was, in fact, a ministry used to INCLUDE and GLORIFY GOD! It is, with great sadness, that in the months we were involved, God was not mentioned unless it was for their monetary gain.
When you think of how badly you want to “fit in” with the group, sit back long enough to observe. Watch them, listen to them, and see what they really, truly are before endorsing them and desiring to be “a part of them.” In this case, I’m glad that I was not officially affiliated with this ministry, although I was presented with an “opportunity” before I started really finding stuff out about them that did not line up.
I just want you to be aware of the people and organizations that are out there that claim to be about Christ, for Christ, and involving Christ when all they are really doing is seeking to pad their pocket.
And please … if you’re supposed to be a ministry, include God! ALWAYS! Not just when it’s convenient to get a deal at the store or to try to solicit donations.
Be aware of those that you so desperately want to be a part of … some times it is okay NOT to “fit in.” With great pride I say that I am so glad I did not “fit in” with them after all.
Just as the saying goes that everything that glitters is not gold, everyone that claims to be a Christian and in the ministry to serve God, sadly, are not.
Pay attention as people show you who they truly are. It will come out sooner or later. They cannot hide who they truly are inside.
When all you really want is to “fit in” … be glad that you don’t!