We have a lot going on in Nola. A million different ministries for a million different people, but there’s a common thread running through almost all of these ministries. We want to see every heart believe and every mouth confess that Jesus is Lord. Want to work to end sex-trafficking? We have that. Want to work with orphan care? We have that. Want to do door-to-door evangelism? We have that. I’d venture to guess that there are more ministries in Nola, right now, than restaurants. There is NO excuse to leave here and to never have engaged in some kind of ministry -- and hear me loud, almost every person I know who left with a bad taste in their mouth refused to invest themselves wholly into the city.
I wasn’t here pre-Katrina, but I’ve heard that relationships weren’t quite as close and collegiality was not as widespread. I have been here for virtually the entire post-Katrina environment and, let me tell you, closeness and collegiality amongst the ministries are far from lacking. Attend a NOBA (New Orleans Baptist Association) and see how much love Nola’s pastors have for one another. The relationship is not competitive – it is communal. Don’t hear me wrong, it’s not all rainbows and butterflies, but the leadership in the city recognize that the Kingdom of God is priority number one and I promise you they want you to join in.
Many students come in and want to employ their newest strategy they came up with that will become the silver bullet to all the evangelism and discipleship problems in Nola. Ok, great. Welcome to the club.
Let me fast-track this process for you. Put the strategy or idea on the backburner and instead find a mentor who has lived here for sometime and start doing ministry with them. Let them show you the ropes so you can understand your context a little better. In other words, you moved here to learn, so learn! Be discipled.
And for the love of all that is holy, don’t be Jesus. Be you, a follower of Jesus pointing to Jesus.
Steve Morgan serves as the Digital Communication and Marketing Coordinator at NOBTS.