Sometimes when the word "ministry" is used, we often place the conversation in a narrow category. We may think in terms of a person with a particular role within a congregation of people. Some think of a person designated as the pastor, the minister, the preacher, etc.
Yet, I am thinking about everyday people and everyday ministry. This ministry or service is for the whole church, called to different tasks, using different gifts, but empowered by the same Spirit.
The very heart of what it means to be used by God in ministry is "self-giving." Our model for this is God’s self-giving love expressed to all of us in sending Jesus to this earth. The ultimate expression of this self-giving love is the cross (Romans 5:8; I John 4:10). What goes against this ministry is a spirit of self-assertion and self-will that characterizes far too many of us. This spirit is bound and determined to make things happen through sheer will and determination. Yet, people who model their ministries after Jesus follow him down a path of self-giving and self-surrender.
1. When Jesus is our model for ministry, we must address our sin. Our pride and our self-centeredness are contradictions to real ministry. Real ministry begins not with a task but with taking these attitudes to the Cross of Christ. Then we are ready to minister.
2. Some of us are more than ready to give up things for Christ but we will not surrender ourselves. In particular, we will not surrender our willfulness and determination to have our way.
3. When men and women are involved in everyday ministry, their humility and self-giving love should be evident. After all, the very model for our ministry displayed these characteristics. So what do you think? Why is it that these characteristics are so often absent from some who are "doing ministry" in the name of Jesus?