One of the gravest perils which besets the ministry is a restless scattering of energies over an amazing multiplicity of interests which leaves no margin of time and of strength for receptive and absorbing communion with God.
Though He did what he could to help the multitudes, He had to devote Himself primarily to a few men, rather than the masses, so that the masses could at last be saved. This was the genius of his strategy.
Most ministries in our church have not begun with a bright idea in a pastors’ meeting. We usually don’t say, "Let’s start a street outreach," and then go recruit laypeople to staff it. We have learned over the years to let God birth something in people who are spiritually sensitive, who begin to pray and feel a calling. Then they come to us. "We want to start such-and -such," they say- and the ministry gets going and lasts. Discouragement, complications, and other attacks by the enemy don’t wash it out.
Ministry, you see, is a great place for guys with the idol of success to hide, because we can mask our selfish ambition in the cloak of doing great things for God.
When reminders of your past invade, don’t question your kingdom usefulness. That is Satan’s ploy to derail you. Instead, thank God for His commitment to work through your folly to make you more sensitive to fellow sinners. Ask Him to open doors of relational ministry and to give you the wisdom and courage…to testify of His life-changing grace in your life.
Ministry to children, therefore, should be conducted in a humble spirit of service rather than in a patronizing manner, and should be viewed as a privilege rather than as an undesirable chore left to those rho are unable to attain to a higher calling.
Ours is not a social message, it is not a political message. It is not a philanthropic message. It is not a moral message. It is a message of sin and salvation and forgiveness. Just think what would be happening across the world if Christian ministry was simplified to that.
God enjoys using your hard work for ministry, but your hard work and your ministry must not be your god. What God wants is you!
The church has been established by Christ to be an army…(but) armies, in order to be effective, must be very sensitive in caring for their wounded… There is always a major work to be done within the church in terms of ministering to the needs of the people.
The most effective churches that I know are churches where the ministerial staff devote many hours in training and mobilizing their congregations to be mighty armies of saints, as they minister to a dying world.
Depend on it! God’s work done in God’s way will never lack God’s supply.
There are three stages in the work of God: Impossible; Difficult; Done.
There is never a moment in ministry when you aren’t being ministered to. The Savior is not just working through you in the lives of others, but He is also working in you as He works through you. He is not just calling you to be an agent of His transforming grace; He is transforming you by the same grace. He is not just committed to the success of your ministry but also to the triumph of His grace in your own heart and life… You are never just a vehicle of His amazing grace. No, you are always also a recipient of that grace.
The success of a ministry is always more a picture of who God is than a statement about who the people are that He is using for His purpose.
Public ministry is meant to be fueled and propelled by private devotion.
My calling is sure. My challenge is big. My vision is clear. My desire is strong. My influence is eternal. My impact is critical. My values are solid. My faith is tough. My mission is urgent. My purpose is unmistakable. My direction is forward. My heart is genuine. My strength is supernatural. My reward is promised. And my God is real. I refuse to be dismayed, disengaged, disgruntled, discouraged, or distracted. Neither will I look back, stand back, fall back, go back or sit back. I do not need applause, flattery, adulation, prestige, stature or veneration. I have no time for business as usual, mediocre standards, small thinking, normal expectations, average results, ordinary ideas, petty disputes or low vision. I will not give up, give in, bail out, lie down, turn over, quit or surrender. I am a minister. That is what I do.