People often ask me how they can find the ministry that God is calling them to. They want to serve, they have a desire to do something for the Kingdom but they don’t know exactly what to do or where to do it.
I’ve been in that place before and I believe one of the best things you can do in your search for a ministry is to first gain a Biblical understanding of what it means to serve God.
Ministry and Worship
The ideas of ministry, service and worship are closely tied together.
You shall fear Jehovah your God and serve Him, and shall swear by His name.
Moses called the Israelites to fear and serve God. Jesus later quoted this verse to Satan and told him,
“You shall worship the Lord your God, and you shall serve Him only.”
We are all called to serve God in every aspect of our lives as part of a life of worship.
For this reason, receiving an unshakable kingdom, let us have grace, by which we may serve God pleasingly, with reverence and awe;
Serving God is much more than just an activity to pass the time. As you read through the entire Bible you will see that the word for service or ministry is very close in meaning to the word for worship.
A person who serves God does more than simply perform some sort of duty, serving God also includes the ideas of living in obedience to God’s principles and having a heart that fears God.
For the Christians, ministry and service to God is not relegated to a specific part of the week or a limited area of his life. Those who serve God understand that their service comes out of who they are, they are servants! Thus, they live a life of service to God.
The Goal of Ministry
Why do you want to be involved in ministry?
It is also vital to understand the ultimate goal or purpose of the ministry that you may be involved in.
The Apostle Peter helps us here.
As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
Ministry Should Help People
All ministry should in some way help others, that’s why Peter says, “use it to serve one another.” If a particular ministry is not helping other people in some way, then it is not a good ministry.
This may seem like common sense, however, I have found that it’s easy to become egotistical in our ministries. Some ministries can grow very fast and before long the main goal of the ministry is growth of the ministry or self-preservation of the ministry.
If you’re looking for ministry to be involved in then look for one that is not focused on it’s own success as a ministry but rather on helping meet people’s real needs.
If you’re already involved in ministry then it can be helpful to regularly take a step back and check yourself and your ministry. Does it exist to serve and help people or does it exist to promote its self ?
Ministry Should Bring Glory to God
Helping others isn’t the whole picture, there’s another deeper and more significant purpose and that is to bring glory to God. Peter also reminds us, “in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ.”
Most well-known ministries have a well-known person behind them. That person’s photo-shopped face tends to pop-up on just about every piece of literature, advertising, video, or any other product they produce.
Yes, I realize that people need some way to visually associate those things and, no, I don’t think it’s always wrong to use a face shot on a book cover. However, we do need to be careful about what image is being portrayed.
It is all too easy to make the ministry about the minister. When we do that our ministry becomes man centered and man dependent and not God centered and God dependent. A man centered ministry is dangerous both for those in the ministry and for those to whom it ministers.
Because man centered ministries are dependent upon man they can come crashing down in a spectacular way if something happens to the man upon whom the ministries depends. When this happens it often damages the lives of many people.
A ministry that is not completely focused on bringing glory to God is not an effective ministry and we should stay far away from it.
The Fruit of Ministry
All good ministries should produce some sort of fruit. When you’re evaluating a potential ministry take a careful look at what kind of results it is getting.
And truly He gave some to be apostles, and some to be prophets, and some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ. And this until we all come into the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a full-grown man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; so that we no longer may be infants, tossed to and fro and carried about by every wind of doctrine, in the dishonesty of men, in cunning craftiness, to the wiles of deceit. But that you, speaking the truth in love, may in all things grow up to Him who is the Head, even Christ;
Paul gives us a good list of results that we should be striving for in our ministries and that we should see in the lives of those to whom we are ministering.
- Growth in the body of Christ.
- Unity in the faith.
- A deeper knowledge of Jesus.
- Spiritual maturity.
- A stable and strong doctrinal foundation.
- An attitude of love for one another.
If we don’t see these types of results in our ministry then we need to ask ourselves some questions.
- Does God really want me to be in this ministry?
- Am I properly prepared for this ministry?
- Is this ministry really meeting people’s needs?
- Is this ministry really bringing glory to God?