Why Ministry Isn’t About Working Harder

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Colossians 1:24   Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and fill up on my part that which is lacking of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church;  25 whereof I was made a minister, according to the 18dispensation of God which was given me to you-ward, to fulfil the word of God,  26 even the mystery which hath been hid for 19ages and generations: but now hath it been manifested to his saints,  27 to whom God was pleased to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:  28 whom we proclaim, admonishing every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ;  29 whereunto I labor also, striving according to his working, which worketh in me 20mightily.

 

Last night I had the honor of attending the ordination service of a good friend, and it ended up being a very convicting experience.

Those kinds of services usually emphasize the responsibility of a minister (or Missionary) and so they become an opportunity to evaluate my ministry, and confess areas of weakness.  This confession is usually followed by a great urge to go out and “serve God with all of my heart.”  As that desire to work grew the Lord used a phrase from Colossians chapter one to completely change my thinking.

A pastor was speaking from this passage to the newly ordained minister in what’s usually called “the charge the candidate.”  He spent lots of time focusing on the ministry pastors are called to (1:28-29) but first explained that this ministry can only flow through a relationship with Christ.

In that moment the Lord helped me realize successful ministry isn’t about “working  harder” but about Christ dwelling in me.

It’s about seeking His will and obeying

It’s about taking steps of faith even though my hearts filled with fear

It’s about being willing to suffer for the cause of Christ

It’s about seeking His presence daily

That doesn’t mean I won’t work of course, but the work isn’t going to be in my own strength.  Instead they will be done in faith that God will meet my needs.

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