E. Keith Hassell
Related topics: Ministry; Service;
· What is “Ministry”?
o Is it a job, career, responsibility, or time-slotted activity on Sundays?
o Ministry is serving the Lord and serving others—plain and simple.
· What is the proper motivation for ministry?
o Is it identity? Do you feel lost without the “label” of ministry?
o Is it achievement? Do you feel good or bad based upon your results?
o Is it recognition? Do you feel slighted when you are not recognized—and others are?
o Is it money? Do you base your involvement on whether you will get paid or not?
o Is it fame? Do you crave the praise and applause of others?
o Is it a position? Do you wait until you have a position before you will serve?
o Is it a career? Do you see yourself as a “professionals”?
§ “Pastors are being killed by the professionalizing of the pastoral ministry. The mentality of the professional is not the mentality of the prophet. It is not the mentality of the slave of Christ. Professionalism has nothing to do with the essence and heart of the Christian ministry…Brothers, we are not professionals! We are outcasts. We are aliens and exiles in the world (1 Peter 2:11). Our citizenship is in heaven, and we wait with eager expectation for the Lord (Philippians 3:20). You cannot professionalize the love for His appearing without killing it. And it is being killed.” [John Piper, Brothers, We Are Not Professionals: A Plea to Pastors for Radical Ministry (Nashville: Broadman and Holman, 2002), pp. 1-2]
· Where are the “rivers of living water” that Jesus promised? Where is the evidence of true ministry? Where is the heart of true service?
Ten Characteristics of True Ministry
I. True ministry begins with the Father
A. John 5:19-20 “Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner. For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself does; and He will show Him greater works than these, that you may marvel.”
B. John 12:49-50 “For I have not spoken on My own authority; but the Father who sent Me gave Me a command, what I should say and what I should speak. And I know that His command is everlasting life. Therefore, what ever I speak, just as the Father has told Me, so I speak.”
C. 1 Timothy 1:12 (NKJV) “And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry.”
II. True ministry flows from the Son
A. John 15:4-5 “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.”
III. True ministry is empowered by the Holy Spirit
A. The baptism with the Holy Spirit is the power or “mantle of Jesus” for ministry
B. Luke 24:49 “Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high.”
C. Acts 1:8 “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you;”
D. Acts 10:38 “God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.”
IV. True ministry has as its goal to please God
A. John 8:29 “The Father has not left Me alone, for I always do those things that please Him.”
B. 2 Corinthians 5:9 “Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him.”
C. Hebrews 11:5 “By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death, ‘and was not found, because God took him’; for before he was taken he had this testimony, that he pleased God.”
V. True ministry is motivated by love
A. Matthew 22:37-40 “Jesus said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”
B. John 21:15-17 “So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, ‘Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?’ He said to Him, ‘Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.’ He said to him, ‘Feed My Lambs.’ He said to him again a second time, ‘Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?’ He said to Him, ‘Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.’ He said to him, ‘Tend My sheep.’ He said to him the third time, ‘Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?’ Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, ‘Do you love Me?’ And he said to Him, ‘Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Feed My sheep.’”
C. 1 John 4:7-11 (NKJV) “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 9 In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”
VI. True ministry is serving others
A. Matthew 20:26-28 “Whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave—just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give Him life a ransom for many.”
B. Philippians 2:5-9 “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even death on the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name.”
VII. True ministry is known by its fruits
A. Matthew 7:15-20 (NKJV)“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them.”
B. Galatians 5:22-23 (NKJV) “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.”
VIII. True ministry is proven by faithfulness
A. 1 Corinthians 4:2 “Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found
B. Luke 16:10 “He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much.”
C. Matthew 24:45-46 “Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made ruler over his household, to give them food in due season? Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing.”
IX. True ministry releases life
A. John 10:10 “I have come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”
X. True ministry is rewarded by the joy of the Lord
A. Matthew 25:23 “His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have bee faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your Lord.”