How to Have Effective Ministry
How to Have Effective Ministry
We have spent a good deal of time looking at the men God called to change the world. We saw that they were common men. They were not anyone special. Just like us they had to rely upon the supernatural power of God. We are now entering what is called the second discourse of Matthew. It can be divided into three distinct sections: Instructions for service, the difficulty of service and the cost of service. In the section we are looking at today, Jesus gives the men instruction for effectiveness in their ministry. He is not sending them out permanently, but is sending them on a short-term mission trip. It probably lasted just a few weeks.
Is it OK to strategize in Christian ministry? Some have criticized certain churches for developing a mission and strategy and then setting goals to reach. Is this borrowing too much from the business world? Does the Bible indicate that godly men ever had a strategy?
There is something to be said about being organized and focused. We just had a storm the other night. We knew exactly where the storm was because of what is called RADAR. Radar is an acronym standing for Radio Detection and Ranging. A radar station sends out radio waves at certain frequency and at certain intervals. Because the radio waves are organized they can become useful in many different ways. Radar is used for defense, air traffic control, weather, radar guns and automatic doors, just to name a few things. It was not until we found a way to organize the radio waves, were we able to be so creative with them.
The same is true for businesses and organizations. They have to keep organized for effectiveness.
We have to be given clear instruction and organization in order to be most effective in our ministry for God. As a church we have to determine the Biblical priorities we have in the context of our community, and then we need to act upon those priorities and refuse to be distracted. Large organizations really have to fight to stay true to their priorities. Let us look at what our master’s instructions were for our effectiveness in ministry.
If you are going to be effective in ministry then you need:
I. A Specific Goal (5-6)
Jesus just didn’t send the men out haphazardly. He sent them out with a specific goal. Their goal was to evangelize the “lost sheep of the house of Israel.” It is interesting to consider that on this short-term mission trip, Jesus tells them to go only to Israel, while in the Great Commission we are told to go to all the world. Had Jesus spent extensive time in the region of the Gentiles and Samaritans the Jews would have been reluctant to listen to Him. His own earthly ministry was limited to the Jews area. He only ventured to the region to Tyre and Sidon on one occasion and told the Syrophoenecian woman that He was sent to the “lost sheep of the house of Israel.” He limited his scope of ministry to increase His effectiveness.
This was also the pattern for later ministry by Paul in several places such as Paphos, Corinth, and Ephesus. The assertion of Romans 1:16 was that the Gospel was for the Jew first and also to the Greek.
The Samaritans were a group of part Jews who were colonists under Assyrian rule. They were rejected by the full-blood Jews after their captivity, so they built their own temple on Mt. Gerezim and later on in Shechem. There was bitter enmity between the Jews and the Samaritans that continued even until the day of Jesus, so that Jews had no dealing with the Samaritans.
We must also organize for ministry effectiveness. In order to increase to be more effective, we need to come to the conclusion that we cannot do everything, but choose to do a few things well. Setting goals for ministry helps us to have an objective to achieve and keeps us from wasting resources by doubling up on ministry.
Tell me if you can figure out the company that has the following mission statements: Establish ourselves as the premier purveyor of the finest coffee in the world while maintaining our uncompromising principles while we grow.
Training the next generation of servant–leaders for Great Commission living.
We have remained faithful in its commitment to producing unparalleled entertainment experiences based on its rich legacy of quality creative content and exceptional storytelling.
II. A Specific Message
Jesus gave them a very specific message to communicate. “The Kingdom of Heaven is at Hand.” The message of the disciples is the same message of John the Baptist in chapter three and Jesus in chapter four. The phrase “Kingdom of Heaven” is used 33 times in the Gospels and only by Matthew. It is similar in meaning to “kingdom Of God” used 5x by Matthew and 50 times in the other Gospels. The message of the Kingdom of Heaven is a about a king and a kingdom. This particular message refers to Jesus. It is a round-about way of referring to Christ.
Coupled with the message of the kingdom of heaven is the idea of repentance. Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. This is the message of repentance and faith. Our message to the world is the simple of message of Jesus Christ.
As the poem goes: Jesus Saves
III. A Confirmation of Our Call
Since the apostles had no formal education, they needed something to confirm their call to the ministry Jesus had commissioned them to. He gave them the ability to perform the miraculous healings that he had performed. This would have been confirmation enough to the people in Palestine that they were under the authority of Jesus Christ.
Today, people give their credentials to prove the credibility of the statements they make. Doctors, lawyers, teachers, realtors, and investment advisors are just a few who give credentials to prove their knowledge. There were at least two attitudes in Jesus’ commands that proved their credentials.
Healing the sick, raising the dead, cleansing lepers and casting out demons were all things that Jesus did when he was moved with compassion for the people. A genuine Christian and a genuine minister will be known by their compassion. Self-willed and carnal Christians only look out for number one and have not compassion.
B. Absence of Greed
Jesus tells them, “freely ye have received, freely give.” The apostles could have become very wealthy performing these acts. There were not the medical clinics, nor were there the wonder drugs and pharmaceuticals of today. People would have been willing to offer a lot of money to be guaranteed healing. No doubt Jesus foresaw this and warned them about greed.
We do not confirm our walk with Jesus Christ by miracles today. Instead were are testify to Jesus’ saving power by our lives. Turn to 1 Timothy 3. This list is not a special list only for the pastor or deacon. This is a common list of traits that every Christian should possess. See the ministry is not a higher calling that any other calling, but it does carry higher accountability. Look at this list. Does this list characterize your life?
IV. Trust in God
Next He told the apostles not to carry money bags, extra shoes or clothes. The minister is to rely completely upon his work for the Lord. They are never to demand money for their work. The principle being that the laborer is worthy of his hire. Paul wrote Timothy and told him, "Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine. For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward." (1 Timothy 5:17-18, KJV)
V. Minister to the Most Receptive
When they go into a village they are to inquire about the worthy and then go into the house and give it their blessing of peace. If you find out that they are not, then go and remove your blessing of peace. This may be talking about spiritual receptivity. There are some who will accept Christ and some who will not. We are to concentrate our efforts on those who are spiritual receptive.
That does not mean that we are to go only where conversions are quick and easy. There are some fields that are more spiritually hardened than others. We are to go to the receptive of that field. These would be the ones hungering and thirsting for righteousness.
VI. Reject the Ones who are Scornful
This is the exact opposite of the last principle.