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{The following article was first published on suite101.com.}

When you hear the word ministry, what comes to mind? For me, it's thoughts of needy people being helped through the efforts of some church or religious organization. The word paints mental pictures of individuals from every background receiving food, clothing, shelter, medical care, and various other things associated with the necessities of life. But I also see "ministry" as something that goes beyond meeting basic needs. There are counseling ministries, educational ministries, financial ministries, marriage ministries, ministries for single people, ministries for moms of toddlers, and even ministries designed to help other ministries. Almost every church or religious group has more than one active ministry.

Although there seems to be a ministry to meet every need, I believe the churches of today are neglecting one of the biggest problems of modern times. There are ministries for those who have no money, ministries for those who have no food, ministries for those who have no education, and ministries for those who have no self-esteem, but there are no ministries for those who have no clue. That 's right, I am proposing a ministry for the clueless: those who are living a portion of their lives outside of reality. Many of these poor needy souls have no idea how they sound, act, or generally appear to others. Our streets, schools, churches, and workplaces are filled with these poor delusional people. They have no one to help them recover. Most churches would rather turn a blind eye to the clueless and their hallucinations, preferring to humor them, rather than confront them with the loving truth that could set them free.

This problem needs to be addressed with a Clueless Ministry. Jesus ministered to the clueless. He used parables, teachings and life illustrations to point out the obvious to the clueless generation of his day. I firmly believe that the church of today needs to do the same. Because of my strong convictions in this area, I have come up with a few suggestions for those who would like to start an outreach to the delusional. Please prayerfully consider the following.

In order to minister to the clueless, one must recognize the three main categories of cluelessness and become familiar with each. They are listed below:

(Disclaimer: These categories were developed over a period of time using highly scientific observational methods and are reliable only in situations where accepted human behavioral studies cannot show contradictory evidence.)

1) The "No-One-Notices" syndrome

2) The "Cannot-Take-A-Hint" affliction

3) The "Twisted-Descartes" complex

The "No-One-Notices" syndrome is the easiest to detect. The young adults who walk into a room thinking no one can smell the marijuana reeking from their clothing, the old man who acts as if no one sees him lustfully staring at the ladies in the church, and the neglectful parents who think nobody notices the disparity between their designer wardrobe and the rags worn by their kids are just a few examples. Victims of the "No-One-Notices" syndrome actually believe they are fooling others. They know their true condition, but their delusion centers on what they think others think about them.

The "Cannot-Take-A-Hint" affliction is also easy to detect, but much more difficult to encounter. These are the types that will not leave someone's home even after the host and hostess have yawned excessively, complained about having to rise early the next morning, and put on their pajamas. This affliction includes people who light up cigarettes in the no smoking section, continue to use their cell phones in a movie theater amidst groans of indignation, and proceed to tell a sixteenth joke after no one has laughed at the first fifteen. Unlike the "No-One-Notices" syndrome, the victims of this affliction have no idea they have a problem.

The last category can be tricky. It's often easy to identify, but not always. The "Twisted-Descartes" complex is when a person thinks they are what they merely want to be. In other words, "I want to be, therefore I am" or "I think I am, therefore I must be." The ones who suffer from this complex will usually see and admire something real in another person's life, desire it, believe they have it, and then begin to act as if they do. An example would be the woman who wants to be a beautiful singer like the ones she sees on TV. She begins to dress like they dress, speak like they speak, and attempts to sing like they sing. She then becomes convinced that she has acquired the talent to sing. Many family members, friends, and church members become enablers by telling her how good she sounds and how she should use her newly found gift. This woman then joins the choir, and begins to request opportunities to sing specials during the offertory. Despite the fact that she throws the entire choir off key, or sings an offertory special that reminds people of fingernails on a chalkboard, she is never confronted. Instead, she receives applause after every song.

The "Twisted-Descartes" clueless person can be seen in almost every church. It's the one who wants to be a prophet but has no prophetic gifts. This person makes it known, one way or another, that he or she has a word from God. Even though the prophecies usually sound like something from a fortune cookie, no one dares challenge the poor deluded fool. It is also the person who wants to be a preacher, even though he or she cannot keep a church audience interested long enough to hear one "Amen." Does the church confront this person with the truth? No. The church would rather help pay his or her way through seminary than deal with the clueless issue. Then there are those think they are teachers, evangelists, philosophers, childcare experts, administrators, and a multitude of other things. They believe that is what they are, only because that is what they want to be. The saddest thing about this problem is not that it is being overlooked by the church, but that it is actually being supported.

However, do not be discouraged. True ministry to the clueless can be accomplished. All it takes is a few dedicated people with a love for reality. Once the problem is accepted and understood, real ministry can begin.

Now that the categories of cluelessness have been explained, how to minister to these categories must be addressed. Just as there are three categories of cluelessness there are also three methods of therapy. They are as follows:

(Disclaimer: These methods were developed over a period of time using highly scientific techniques and are reliable only where studies regarding human behavioral therapy and treatment show no contradictory evidence.)

1) The "Gentle-Revelation" method

2) The "Loud-Awareness" method

3) The "Humiliation-And-Ridicule" method

Each method should be used in progression, beginning with the first. For example, when a person suffering with the "No-One-Notices" syndrome is first approached, the "Gentle-Revelation" method should be used. Begin with a gentle statement, such as, "Everyone knows. You are not hiding anything." If the ministerie (the one being ministered to) says, "I have no idea what you are talking about," go to method two: The "Loud-Awareness" method. Scream out, "EVERYONE KNOWS. YOU ARE NOT FOOLING ANYONE WITH YOUR SICK CHARADE." Try to yell loud enough for others to hear and possibly come over to see what all the commotion is about. A crowd will be helpful if the third method is needed.

If the ministerie still refuses to recognize and admit his or her cluelessness, go to method three: The "Humiliation-And-Ridicule" method. Begin to ridicule the ministerie's behavior. Say things like, "All of these people are watching you, you sick delusional dirt bag. Why not just admit it. You are not hiding anything. Everybody knows what you are trying to hide." At this point, try and get the crowd to laugh and point their fingers.

The other categories of cluelessness should be handled the same; use all three methods progressively, beginning with the first. However, when ministering to the person with the "Cannot-Take-A-Hint" affliction, a few head slams against the wall may be needed during method two.

The most difficult category of cluelessness to heal will always be category three. Those inflicted with the "Twisted-Descartes" complex have put a lot of effort into their illusion. They actually believe they are what they want to be. The ministry process may get stuck on method three for some time, but keep up the ridicule. Eventually healing will take place.

There are some bad side effects to these ministerial therapeutic treatments. Churches have been known to lose members through its use. Some members may leave the church due to hurt feelings, others may commit suicide, and in some cases, the person administering the therapy may be murdered. People just have trouble with the truth. But in the big picture, it will all be worth it.

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