Mess of Ministry: Building Blocks of Great Strength

Proverbs 14:4 Dissected & Defined

Where no oxen are, the crib (resting place) is clean: but much increase (gain) is by the strength (use) of the ox.

Daily-Devo Paraphrase

At Reformers Unanimous we have very large men’s and women’s homes. It is a ministry that is very time-consuming and laborious.

As a matter of fact, at times, it can consume our organization. The national ministry produces nearly 75% of our income, yet it takes a very small part of my weekly time. It is easy to operate. We advertise, churches inquire, we train, and chapters open. It happens in a quite calculated way, all year long. Very little mess is made.

However, the housing ministry is a monster in the making. At any given moment a student can blow a tire and slow down the day of the entire staff. Just the other day I spent two hours trying to convince a student not to leave the home and then consoling his parents for another hour after he decided to go anyway. He left a mess within the home that took two chapel services to clear up. What a mess this housing program makes! 

Great Big Mess

Yet, I am then reminded in our verse for today that these people, like oxen, may make a great big mess, but they generate great strength for us. Oh, how true this is. 

When RU could not afford to hire, it was the men and ladies who did the work. Mike R., Mike S., and Mike W. built us to 180 chapters before we could hire a full-time staff person. Before Larry came, we had 3 different stewards who were former students! 

As a matter of fact, we have 32 full-time employees and 50 volunteers. And guess what? 26 of those 32 full-time staff members are graduates of our men and women’s program, and 48 of our 50 volunteers are current students in the home. 

God has given us an army to build this ministry and it is being built on the back of its oxen—the backs of the product it produces. Our students are our staff! 

Many thought these people were no good and not worth our efforts. But all they needed was someone to clean up after them!

Sharing is Caring

Steve Curington grew up in a Christian home and graduated from North Love Christian School in 1984. After high school, Steve started a 10-year addiction to alcoholism and cocaine. After a serious car accident, Steve found complete sobriety through his relationship with Jesus Christ. After his recovery in 1996, Steve began Reformers Unanimous, a faith-based addiction ministry. What started as a humble, Friday night addiction class with four regular attendees in Rockford, Illinois, grew to a class of more than 300 people from the community and then spread to other churches across the country and around the world. The founder of Reformers Unanimous International (RU) died suddenly on October 30, 2010. Mr. Curington, a husband and father of five children, was only 45, but he accomplished more in his 15 years of ministry than many do in a lifetime. We know his work, his writing, his voice, and his reach will live on.

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