Josh Brage

Ministry; First of Many
August 26, 2005, 3:59 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Ministry is a funny thing. I think that it is hard to define at times. This is funny, because we all think that we know what it is. Here are a couple of things that I have found ministry to blatantly NOT be: a way to a relationship with God. Ministry will reveal what is there; if there isn’t much, then that will be often tragically obvious. Ministry is NOT an ego-gratifying ordeal. It might be if you are so overwhelmed by your ego that anything, including losing at Scrabble, feeds that debilitating force. Ministry can and will run you down, at times. At times you will feel that you have nothing to give anyone.
Ministry too often comes out of men from a place of need or obligation. “Someone needs to do something.” Or, “No one else is going to do it, I have to.” These are both, in my opinion, both tragic and potentially dangerous motivations. Ministry should come out of an abundance that you have in your life. Ministry should come out of your life, your quiet time with God, your Bible reading, your world with God. Ministry is a conduit for God to use for His life, Spirit and anointing to flow through into other people’s lives. Ministry is NOT something that should be, or needs to be manufactured.
So what do we do to not fall into the all-too-often told story of an overwhelmed, overworked, overstressed young minister who’s family and personal life is falling apart? First, we have to be focused on self. I know, this is apparent heresy and completely goes against the Bible. No, it doesn’t. When you are focused on your life and your walk with God, then everything else ‘ministry-wise’ is naturally there. It isn’t forced or hard. Sure, it might get challenging, but not in an ‘I am completely drained’ kind of way.
Second, focus on your family. Our lives come out of who we are at home. That is integrity. Paul talks about this while talking to Timothy about who should help lead the church. Focus on loving your wife and earning her respect. You will be such a more productive man and minister with a wife who loves and admires you standing by your side or behind you however you want to look at it. Love your kids. God’s greatest calling was that of a father. Be a great dad to your kids!
Lastly how do we focus on all of this without it becoming about us? We must realize that we don’t find ourselves apart from God. This is a basic Christian truth that I believe is vastly overlooked. It is ONLY when we have surrendered our identities to God and released all of our ambitions, desires, hopes and dreams to His sovereignty then He can take all of those things and start us on the journey towards our divine calling and purpose. Through self-denial we discover ourselves, fully! Once you are in this place, you will have already been doing ministry for while, maybe without even realizing it. Your life will be a ministry. People will experience the life of God, just by being around you, because there is so little of you and so much of God.
So there it is, minister by not ministering. Help people by focusing on your life. Find God by pursuing yourself. And allow yourself to die, only then will you really discover who you are.


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