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.

Image source :www.livingfaithchurchwi.org

Image source :www.livingfaithchurchwi.org


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.

Image source: andysavage.com

Image source: andysavage.com


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)

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You Have God’s Chisel !

It is interesting , but i believe you will agree with me, that most of the time we are tempted to have our own perceptions and classifications of the man God is likely to use in achieving any purpose on earth.  Additionally, each of the categories that result from our classifications usually has a compelling reason why  we think we should not be the ones to be used. But if you are then of no use, you might as well be occupying important space that can be used by someone “more useful”! Why won’t God just kick you out of the way?

The answer is simple; every single one of creation has a compelling reason to exist. It is like saying everybody has a value that is derived from his or her existence and this is many times called your purpose. We will call it your ministry. Why?, well this is because your purpose offers value or satisfaction directly or indirectly to someone and ultimately to God. In essence, you are God’s solution to someone’s challenge or problem.

Picture this; a man who is excited about coming to church decides to wear his all-white brand new suit. In his excitement he forgets to pick one of his ten handkerchiefs. He is shy to ask for help but on arrival at the church, he notices that the chairs are spotlessly clean. He lifts up his eyes to heaven and whispers “thank you Father”. The exciting part is that, you cleaned that particular chair (as  periodic volunteer  to the church). You were God’s solution to his challenge or problem. Some ministries can be that simple, even as simple as starting a blog with just an idea for a single post!

Being in ministry I believe is just a shorter form of saying you are a channel through which God supplies any of the various graces that other people. These people also include other Christians who need your service to function more properly in society and in the church. This is the more reason why no excuse is enough to deny your neighbor the love of supplying the grace he or she needs through you. You must identify and pursue your ministry!

A ministry is therefore any selfless undertaking that is evidently inspired by the Spirit of God and that leads to glorious results in the life of people and society at large. The total concept of ministry is encapsulated in Isaiah 61: 1-4. A ministry is the purpose for life that must be inspired by the Spirit of God and as such, one must be chosen and equipped for it (Isa 61:1). Don’t forget, every man has a purpose and thus a ministry.

The Holy Spirit communicates a man’s ministry to him in different forms. There are those who receive it through dramatically inspiring experiences such as visions and dreams like Gideon (Judges 6:11-22, Gen 37: 5-10, 45 :7,), others receive by authority through the laying on of hands (1Ti 4:14), others just see it in the word of God (Dan 9:2-27) and are moved to get it done. Yet still, others just have it as a passion for which they feel gifted to pursue (1 Sam 17: 23-54) l.

A ministry must however, offer one or a combination of spiritual, psychological, emotional, physical or even fiscal liberation, inspiration or healing (Isa 61:1), reconciling people to the favor of their God so as to arouse their joy and praise of God. The ministry may also be of the form that reminds the people (both Christians and non-Christians) of their judgment and that of their enemies, bringing the Christians to the knowledge of their state of righteousness (Isa 61:2-3) and the need to continue in it and bringing non-Christians to the knowledge of the saving power of Christ Jesus. A ministry can also equip others to undertake exploits that bring glory to the name of God (Isa 61:4, Eph 4:11-12). The key word is this, it must bring glory to God. Therefore , I believe that any ministry that does not bring glory to God is either a selfish endeavor or is just evil.

Therefore

Ministries are the chisels with which God carves his glory out of the lives of humans.

And you have God’s chisel!