What does “ministry” look like? “You’re asking me, pastor?!” Yes, you, because Scripture plainly places ministry at the feet of Joe and Joan Pewsitter: “And he gave apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints [Joe and Joan Pewsitter] for the work of ministry, for the building up of the body of Christ” (Eph. 4:11-12). An example: in Paul’s second letter to Timothy, he uses a Joe Pewsitter, Onesiphorus, as his example of the ministry heart that Timothy, a pastor, should have (2 Tim. 1:15-18). Onesiphorus’ ministry is simple: he loved God and Paul, and searched all over Rome to help him, when everyone else had abandoned Paul. Nothing complicated. Love on wheels - Onesiphorus moved, and gave.
Love moves, love gives. Tim Keller gives some modern examples*:
- “Catherine prays for her friend Megan for months. Megan responds well to two short books on Christian subjects that Catherine has given her. Finally she invites and takes Megan to an evangelistic event in which Christian truth is presented. On the way home she fields Megan’s questions.
- “Jack and Jill help their two sons, age 5 and 7, to do Scripture memory and learn a simple catechism. They field questions and help the boys understand what the texts mean.
- “Fred has been going to a small group for months. At one point he realizes that he assesses the value of the group strictly on what he gets out of it. Instead, he begins to go each week by preparing well (studying the passage) and praying for the group. When he comes, he looks for every opportunity to help the Bible study leader by making good contributions, and for ways to speak the truth in love so that others are encouraged and helped to grow.
- “Jim and Cynthia are both artists and are part of city wide Christian artists’ fellowship that is based in their local church. The fellowship is usually a discussion of the relationship of faith to art that assumes a Christian belief, but the artists have four events a year that will be either a gallery showing or a book event in which some very respectable artist gets a chance to talk about how his or her faith relates to their art to a general audience. Jim and Cynthia are very diligent in bringing non-Christian artists or art-appreciators to these events.”
What occurs to you, as you prayerfully consider moving toward and giving to others, might just be the best idea.
More in Pastors' Notes
June 20, 2017Abortion and Grace
June 20, 2017Glory Around a Table
June 8, 2017Characteristics of Faithful, Useful Groups, Over the Long-Term