MAKING IMPACT IN MINISTRY III (Clarifying the mode of your ministry)

Today, I am glad to be back to the topic of making impact in ministry. Given the extended time lapse between this post and making impact in ministry I and II, it is important for us to be refreshed about issues discussed the earlier posts.

In the post “making impact in ministry I” we briefly discussed ministry as being the second field of the life of a man and as essentially being made up of a man’s purpose. We added that being successful in ministry requires knowledge of the purpose of God for your life, that is, the declared purpose (what), the action plan (how, who, where) and the timing (when). We finally discussed briefly ways of knowing what purpose God has for us. In “making impact in ministry II” we discussed how to prepare for the accomplishment of the purpose of God for our lives ie how to prepare for ministry.

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Image source

I this post I will like us to discuss the “how” of ministry. However given the diversity of ministries and the many ways in which a particular ministry (eg. Usher) can be implemented; we will essentially be discussing the principles of fulfilling ministry rather than a step by step instruction on building a ministry. The purpose of this discussion will be to provide you with the insight into knowing the various aspects of fulfilling ministry in which we will need to collaborate with God so as to make impact in the ministry which we are called.

Clarify the mode of ministry: one important piece of knowledge needed especially in the preparation stage of ministry is the knowledge of the mode of ministry to which God is calling us. Usually, ministries are classified as either “part time” or “full time”. However, my most preferred form of classification is based on the relationship between your ministry and your career and these are of three kinds. The first mode of ministry includes the ministry of individuals whose purpose lies in their career (e.g. a teacher who raises God fearing scientists), others seem to have their career alongside their purpose (e.g. a banker who writes and sings spiritual songs) and others have their career embedded in their purpose (e.g. a full time pastor who is paid by the church). Knowing the mode of ministry helps you to know the scale of operation and the skills required for the operation.

I believe however, that the scale of operation is not an indication of the importance of the ministry. Each ministry is as important as the impact it makes and the impact it makes must be measured by the objectives set by God for the particular ministry. To give you a somewhat extreme example, what impact will a ministry have made in the eyes of God if it builds a vibrant church with 1000 members and never wins the soul of the one man that God had established the ministry for.

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What if the man whose soul was to be won was a Billy Graham, a Dag Heward-Mills or a Benny Hinn? Though the ministry might have saved 1000 souls, it missed the millions it would have eventually churned out if it had focused on the one soul the ministry was meant to serve. Therefore knowing the scale of ministry is not for the purpose of deciding the level of faithfulness required, but to have an idea of the personal and other resources needed in accomplishing the ministry.

Knowing the mode of ministry will also give you an idea as to the skills needed to fulfill the ministry. a teacher who raises God fearing students must be able to effectively and efficiently combine quality academic teaching with evangelism, discipleship and mentorship. This will require excellent academic teaching skills, carefully planned and “non-intrusive” evangelism, discipleship and mentorship of the students without losing the focus on academic teaching. A great deal of planning, time management and self discipline might be required especially in a world that is becoming continuously resistant to the gospel of Christ.

The purpose is sometimes reserved for latter parts of one’s life. In a mean time, necessary and diligent preparation towards your purpose is essential.

Related article
You have Gods chisel!
The quest for purpose: your desires
The quest for purpose: your strengths
The Will of God: A Portrait of David
The Quest for Purpose: The Will of God (with a twist of marriage)


The Extraordinary Mindset

By faith Moses’ parents hid him for three months after he was born because they saw that he was no ordinary child…(Heb 11: 23, NIV)

There was something uncommon or extraordinary about Moses at birth and that was his beauty. It is believed by bible commentators that this uncommon beauty seemed to be an indicator of the great destiny Moses had and as such his parents were ready to risk hiding their child against the command of the Egyptian king.

But there was something else about Moses that distinguished him from many men, his mindset.

Moses had a mindset that was embedded with the right value system and this made him a candidate for the extraordinary manifestations of God; to him and through him.

Moses understood how to value what God valueed and had accurate knowledge of the value of God’s rewards. He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt because he was looking ahead to his reward. (Heb 11: 26, NIV)

With this mindset, Moses undertook the right actions which made him the right person that God could use in implementing His will (i.e the redemption of His nation).

By faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to share ill-treatment with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. By faith he left Egypt, not being afraid of the anger of the king; for he endured as seeing him who is invisible(Heb 11:24-25).

Moses had a mindset that gave him the desire to live beyond the desire to sin and to enjoy pleasures that were outside the will of God. Beyond denying himselfthese pleasures he was ready to take risks because of his trust in God and His promises. Moses was living his life for God.

How did he achieve this, simple: he understood the value of or rewards in following the will of God rather than available alternatives. Knowing the superiority in value of God’s will over available alternatives made his choices much simpler though seemingly “difficult”.

Our choices will be much simpler, wiser and more rewarding if we understood the value of God’s reward vis-à-vis the available alternatives, and if we really knew and appreciated the value that God offers now and for eternity. How much of God’s promises do you know? How accurate are your valuation of God’s rewards?

What am I driving at?

Our faith in God should be nurtured through the study of the word and prayer to provide us with the right mindset and value system. And whenever you want to make any decision, don’t forget to compare values.

Related article: Prioritizing: The Value System Approach