And so we abide by and ancient Aristotle quote to create definitions as a guide to thinking clearly about important matters because his rule is still used today in science and philosophy.
On our homepage we defined ministry.
And to understand the meaning of love in ministry we also have to define love (using Aristotles rule, of course). So lets give it a try
But wait how can you talk about love if feelings dont matter?
Its not that feelings dont matter. They do matter a great deal.
Its just that you cant equate love with emotions.
Think of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane (Mt 26:37ff)
The meaning of love in Jesus ministry was a true ministry a religious action of love to bring the people closer to God.
He performed the most loving action in history despite his feelings.
Another example can be found in the life of Mother Theresa of Calcutta.
In her case...she continued her ministry of loving action at a time when she doubted the very existence of God. The meaning of love to her was clearly expressed by her religious ministry activities meant to bring people closer to God.
In a ministry of love ministers who are doing authentic ministry perform those loving actions which sanctify them and the people. Even at times when like Mother Theresa they must go strictly on faith or like Jesus when they are afraid and lonely.
And its is during such down times that a minister might seek consolation in a form of "love" that has nothing to with ministry...nor with the meaning of love as we've defined it here for ministry.
So the meaning of love in ministry is really a decision a decision to perform loving actions that bring both minister and people closer to God.
And those actions are carried out
So by using the above definitions of ministry and love as you evaluate your ministry work you can stay on course even if it is a stormy Monday morning and the church roof is leaking and the electricity is out and youre out of coffee and you have a flat tire...and no one's affirmed you for weeks.
Using good definitions of what your work is about is one way to protect yourself from boundary violations.
Another way is to subscribe to our monthly newsletter The Boundary Hunter.
You can go from the meaning of love back to sexual boundaries.
Or you can...