I suppose most of us have gotten used to instant everything. Sometimes I find people expect ministry to happen as quickly as their morning bowl of instant oatmeal. Sprinkle lightly with some brown sugar, add some raisins, walnuts and a few berries and I admit that it gets me off to a satisfied start on a (rare) cold morning in Orlando.
But in the part of the world I sat in recently – an airport in Munich, Germany – I find that Linda’s crock pot “Irish Stew” is hard to beat as a ministry analogy. It takes great ingredients: well-prepared meat, fresh vegetables, just enough potatoes and onions, and a special sauce with a secret ingredient or two.
Of course, the secret sauce of Momentum Europe’s Irish stew is the Holy Spirit which is not really a secret. He needs to flow through everything we do. I’ve often tried to cook without Him and the result is rather tasteless.
One would think that if the Holy Spirit is in the middle of ministry one might see instant results. But over and over again I’ve seen in Europe that whether the stew is Irish or French or German or Romanian or whatever “flavor”, the best ingredients must simmer slowly in the crock pot of ministry in order to produce the finest and longest lasting results.
Recently I’ve been with Momentum Europe staff in Dublin and Nice. I consider these colleagues to be like the freshest of ingredients. They are tender in how they connect with people. They share the nutrients of God’s Word. Like potatoes and onions, they add substance and fragrance to people’s lives. And they’re committed to slow cooking – allowing time for God to work in the hearts of those who have been hardened by disappointment or success or both.
It was a delicious week of ministry. People are simmering in a stew seasoned by the Holy Spirit.