Hello, all my fabulous Brothers and Sisters! I am reading (as always) an amazing book on being a servant of Christ and am simply dying to share some principles, though very basic, that I've been meditating on. Keep in mind that principles are different from methods. Methods, like mathematical shortcuts, only work because of the principles behind the methods. The methods may vary, but the principles are unchanging. And when it comes to the ministry that every believer is respectively called to, our principles should come straight from the Book. Amen?
Now here's a rockin' definition of ministry: "ministry takes place when divine resources meet human needs through loving channels to the glory of God
." The ministry in Acts 3 suavely depicts this definition; check it:
"Now Peter and John went up together to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour. And a certain man lame from his mother's womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms from those who entered the temple; who, seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, asked for alms. And fixing his eyes on him, with John, Peter said, "Look at us." So he gave them his attention, expecting to receive something from them. Then Peter said, "Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk." And he took him by the right hand and lifted him up, and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. So he, leaping up, stood and walked and entered the temple with them--walking, leaping, and praising God. And all the people saw him walking and praising God.
Four important aspects of ministry are demonstrated here. The first is human need. The world is abundant with needs, so much so that the thought of it overwhelms the most sensitive of our members. We know that we are called to respond to human needs, yet we understand that it is impossible for we alone to meet every need we encounter. We may not be able to do everything, but we can do something
, and the only right way for a servant of God to respond to human need is to ask the Lord what he would have them do and then do it as Jesus would so that God alone is glorified. A few things a servant should never do is to turn a blind, "professional" eye to human need, as the Levite and priest did when they saw the dying Jew on the road to Samaria. Nor is the servant to ever exploit the needs of others, using them to obtain recoginition, position, honors, or priviliges. True servants offer unconditional love; they serve whether or not there is "anything in it" for them. Finally, becoming calloused is not an option, though it happens to the best. Sensitivity and compassion are essential; breathe it in by remembering what Christ did for you, and then breathe it out to the individuals God places in your path. I will discuss human need a little more later, but, for the sake of my time at the moment, I shall move on. The second is divine resources. This means the resources comes from God. Many of us believe that we were called to be "manufacturers" instead of "distributors" of the Lord's wealth. Think of when Christ fed the five thousand. What methods did the disciples employ to solve the needs they saw? They advised Christ to send the crowds away!....where was their sensitivity and compassion? Then Philip reminded everyone that there wasn't enough money among them to feed the multitude. This is not a new thing; more people than government officials believe that "more money" is the solution to every problem. Andrew found a little boy with five loaves of bread and two fishes, but "what are they among so many?" they asked themselves--well, the disciples get an "A" for human rationality and logic; but that's not the way God wants his servants to solve problems. The disciples believed it was their responsibility to manufature the rescources, when their only real task was to entrust the manufaturing to Jesus and simply distribute what Jesus would provide!
...Well, I must run for now, but stay tuned for more!