A Look At “Solo” Christian Ministries
“Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up. Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone? And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
In this article we are going to take a look at what the problems can be with having a “solo” Christian ministry, what could be called a “one man” or “one woman” show. I write this with some hesitation because I do not want to stifle anyone who is actively involved in a God-glorifying solo ministry. Also, I have found it difficult in my own experience, to find other Christians in my local church and in my local area who want to team up with me – or with anyone – in an evangelistic ministry.
What is the biblical pattern for ministry and evangelism?
We see in various places in the New Testament that Jesus sent His disciples out in twos:
“And he called unto him the twelve, and began to send them forth by two and two; and gave them power over unclean spirits;” Mark 6:7
We also see this pattern followed later on, in the book of Acts:
- Priscilla and Aquila (Acts 18:26)
- Paul and Barnabas (Acts 13:1-3)
- Paul and Silas (Acts 15:40)
- Barnabas and Mark (Acts 15:39)
- Timothy and Erastus (Acts 19:22)
What are the benefits of going out by twos or in groups?
- You can correct one another.
- You can protect one another… there is strength in numbers.
- You can encourage one another.
- You can challenge one another.
- You can pray for one another.
- You can learn from one another (make disciples of each other while ministering to others).
- You can avoid getting into problem situations by weighing your decisions with others (in the multitude of counselors there is safety (Proverbs 11:14).
- You show that the Church of God is about relationships.
- You show that the Church of God is about the family of God… brothers and sisters united in Christ.
We may think the Holy Spirit is leading us to do something or say something and without another *mature* believer to consult, we may be seriously mistaken about something we are about to say or do. We may be like Apollos preaching the gospel inaccurately and need a Priscilla or Aquila to teach us to preach more clearly and accurately…
“And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly.” Acts 18:26
Are there times when a “solo” ministry is biblical or at least not too “problematic”?
Some ministries can be done alone without a believer running into too much trouble, but that would be primarily where you are not out in public facing an ungodly world, while seeking to share the gospel on a full time basis. Some examples would be:
- Writing gospel tracts and discipleship pamphlets.
- Writing Christian books, devotionals or newsletters.
- Writing Christian articles for a blog or website (where readers could e-mail questions and comments to you).
- Creating discipleship video or audio messages (where viewers or listeners could give you feedback and ask questions).
- Sharing the gospel on social media forums (where you would have other Christians as your checks and balances).
Is doing ministry and discipleship in pairs just the “ideal” situation? Is it a biblical pattern that should never be violated? What do you think? You can let us know via e-mail at “firstname.lastname@example.org”. Personally, I do believe a “joint” ministry is best for the reasons stated above. However, I also realize that it can be very difficult to find a ministry partner in our local area who would have the burden for souls that we have or who would have the time to dedicate to a ministry that we may have, if we are not already involved in ministering to our family members or the brothers and sisters in our local church. And that raises yet another question: Are we really active in a local church “bearing one another’s burdens” (Galatians 6:2) and if not, why not? Are we as older men, teaching the younger men to be godly husbands and fathers and disciple makers? Are we as older women, teaching the younger women in our local assembly to be God-honoring wives and mothers and disciple makers? I won’t get into the issue of the problems with many local churches these days, but I am not oblivious to those issues and how it can be hard to find a local church that is really on fire for discipleship and evangelism and really anxious to live lives that are sold out for the Lord Jesus Christ. — RM Kane
- Power Pairs
- Why Did Jesus Send Out His Disciples Two By Two?
- 4 Reasons Why Jesus Sent Out His Disciples Two by Two
- Why did the disciples preach in pairs?