Ministry Inside.27

Each Thursday, I post something especially with ministers and other church leaders in mind. If you are not in the ministry but are simply a person who serves God and serves people, I hope you, too, will take something from this post each week.

Last week, I listed a number of “Game-changers” for ministers. Each week, I will elaborate on one of these.


Game-changer: The very best thing you have to offer a congregation is the presence of a godly person.

GameChanger_512x512.jpg


So many of us greatly underestimate the power of such a presence.

Far too many ministers put the emphasis elsewhere:

  • Some of us seem to think the best thing we have to offer is our formal education. Yes, there is something to be said for a person who has studied the Bible rigorously for a number of years. However, simply possessing a Bible degree does not necessarily mean that a person is being formed and shaped by the story contained in the Bible.
  • Some seem to think the best thing that we have to offer is our relevant, effective ministry skills and tools. It is important for a minister to retool and to stay fresh. However, simply possessing good tools and developing one’s skills does not necessarily mean that transformation is taking place. This is true for a person as well as a congregation.
  • Some may think that the best thing we have to offer is our experience, the accumulation of our years of “ministry success.” Unfortunately, such a perspective often leads to endless self-promotion that eventually overshadows Jesus and exalts the self.

The very best thing a minister has to offer a church is the presence of a godly person.

Yes, I know that ministers do a number of significant things in their work. Ministers preach, lead, offer care, and often share the Gospel in a variety of ways. However, there is no substitute for a minister’s godly presence in each of those roles.

For example, a minister may be a good preacher. He may handle the Scriptures responsibly. He may articulate the Gospel well as he proclaims the good news in a public setting. He may read an audience well and have a sense for appropriateness given the situation. However, there is something very powerful about preaching from a transformed life. There is something powerful about preaching when you know the Spirit of God has been at work in you. rearranging your heart/mind as he shapes you to fit the Gospel story found in the Bible.

Titus 2:11-14

11 For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. 12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.


Question:

If one’s own godliness (or one’s own spiritual formation) is of such importance in ministry, what might this suggest regarding a minister’s use of time?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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2 thoughts on “Ministry Inside.27

  1. Jim, my friend, awesome, awesome post! Where our attention and focus is has such a critical impact on our ability to minister. It is absolutely transformative to ministry to invest time (a lot of time) into our own formation. Whether through study or prayer or reading (I can’t emphasize enough how reading broadly: Scripture, books, blogs, periodicals, etc. contributes to my own ministry and life and spiritual formation) or through discussions and dialogue with others or simply through silence and being contemplative before God in the morning (early morning is my time). It is amazing at how these disciplines effect not only my life, but the way I minister. If we are spiritually bankrupt or theologically depleted or are not where God desires/demands for us to be ethically, how can we possibly expect those with whom we minister to be radically transformed – if we ourselves are not? Again, great post, and something I needed this morning.

    Glory to God!

    Jason

    • Jason, thanks very much. These are very good practices which you describe and have been important in my own formation as well. This kind of discipline will reap dividends for you not only now but in future years as well. Thanks for this comment.