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A faithful ministry

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       A Faithful Minister

Text: Colossians 1:24-29

Introduction:

Congregations today expect a lot of their pastors, and they seem to have little knowledge of the principles from which a minister operates to run the church.  

*Someone once said that since the minister in a sense belongs to everybody, everybody has something to say about his work and how it ought to be done; and what they have to say will recall the answer of Christ to the scribes and Pharisees: “We have piped unto you, and you have not danced; we have mourned unto you, and you have not lamented” (Matt. 11:17).  The people of that day didn’t like John, because he came neither eating or drinking; and when Jesus came eating and drinking, they said behold, a glutton and drinker of wine, a friend of publicans and sinners.  Human nature hasn’t changed.

If the minister has no wife, he certainly needs one.  If he has one, he must have been handcuffed and blindfolded when he picked her out.  If his wife knows how to dress, she is worldly.  If she goes about out of style, she is a disgrace to the congregation.  If she speaks in the missionary society, she is trying to run the church.  If she sings in the choir, she has the voice of a magpie.


If the minister is quiet, dignified, and reserved, he is cold.  If he goes about slapping men on the back and telling stories, he ought to have been a traveling salesman or president of the Kiawanas club.  If he preaches without notes, he is not deep enough, and if he reads from his notes, he is too deep and dry.  If he preaches on the great doctrines, he ought to preach more practical sermons.  If he preaches practical sermons, he ought to reach down deeper and grab ahold of the great doctrines.

Yes, the peoples expectations of their ministers are as diverse as the people themselves.  So what is a preacher to do?

Happily, God’s word gives us some basic characteristics that we can go by.  We find in these verses a profile of an approved minister of God.  Her we are shown:

I. A Faithful Ministers identification.

A. Personally identifies with the church

-one of the blood bought

-for the sake of the other purchased ones

-a servant

B. Personally identifies with Christ’s suffering

-Suffering on behalf of the church

II. A Faithful Ministers ordination.

A. A sense of God’s call is felt.

-Unable to do different.

-

B. The responsibility of stewardship is realized.

-a steward is held accountable


-This forbids the practice of the squeaky wheel theory (the noisiest wheel gets the grease)

*Triage

-the ones who are the loudest are not the ones who need the doctor the most, but the quiet ones who are unconscious or in shock because of their wounds.

III. A Faithful minister’s Conversation.          

A. Preaching the Word of God.

-The authority of the word.

-Not always the popular position.

-Revealing nature of the word.

B.  Revealing the Mystery of redemption.

-Healing nature of the word

-some people are not good at taking their medicine

*getting a second opinion, and getting mad at the doctor.

IV. A Faithful ministers determination.

A. Every man, (3x) reached.

-No one left out, even if they want to be.

*for their own good.  You have to take your medicine.

-again the issue of accountability

-Somber responsibility


(Ezek 3:18-22 NASB)  "When I say to the wicked, 'You shall surely die'; and you do not warn him or speak out to warn the wicked from his wicked way that he may live, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand. {19} "Yet if you have warned the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness or from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered yourself. {20} "Again, when a righteous man turns away from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and I place an obstacle before him, he shall die; since you have not warned him, he shall die in his sin, and his righteous deeds which he has done shall not be remembered; but his blood I will require at your hand. {21} "However, if you have warned the righteous man that the righteous should not sin, and he does not sin, he shall surely live because he took warning; and you have delivered yourself."

B. To see people perfected in Christ.

-The purpose is to set people free from not only the penalty of sin, but also from its power.

C. Determination sustained through God’s power.

-A faithful minister relies on God’s strength.


-“Christ in me” is the dynamic power principle from which each minister must work from.

-he has a power within he knows will prevail in the end because he knows from experience, the truth of 1 John 4:4, that greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.

Conclusion:

John Newton once said that “The Christian ministry is the worst of all trades, but the best of all professions.” 

Ministry was never promised to be easy.  Many people will expect many different things from their minister, but in order to be counted faithful and find joy in ministry, the minister must center his desires to meet the expectations of God.  The minister who identifies with Christ; who realizes that His call and message are from God; and who determines that God’s objectives will take priority, will be busy reaching the lost and in the end be found faithful.

       He can not subscribe to the squeaky wheel theory, where the one who squeaks the loudest gets attention first.  Many in the congregation are sure to squeak very loud, but it is the minister’s duty to shut out the voice of the multitudes and get his directions from God.


Every minister should follow Paul’s example. Each person in the congregation has their own expectations for the minister, and they often get upset if they think that the pastor is not measuring up to those expectations.  But the problem is that each of them are often not measuring the ministry by the same measuring rod.  Perhaps you don’t feel you have the model minister.

*   After hundreds of fruitless years, a model minister has been found to suit everyone. It is guaranteed that he will please all the people in any church.

   He preaches only 20 minutes, but thoroughly expounds the Word.

   He condemns sin, but never hurts anyone's feelings.

   He works from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. doing every type work from preaching in the pulpit to janitor work.

   He makes $100 a week, wears good clothes, buys good books regularly, has a nice family, drives a nice car, and gives $50 a week to the church.

   He stands ready to give to any good cause, also.

   His family is completely model in deportment, dress and attitude.

   He is 26 years old and has been preaching for 30 years.

   He is tall, short, thin, heavy set, handsome, has one brown eye and one blue eye, hair parted in the middle, left side dark and straight, right side blond and wavy.

   He has a burning desire to work with teenagers and spend all his time with the older people.


   He smiles all the time with a straight face because he has a sense of humor that keeps him seriously dedicated to his work.

   He makes 15 calls a day on church members, spends all his time evangelizing the unchurched, and is never out of the office.  (See:  1 Cor 9:22)

Every minister of God must follow the biblical example and get their direction and approval from God, because it is to Him that they will ultimately be held accountable.  Perhaps you’re here today and you feel that the pastor is not measuring up to your expectations, then make sure you are measuring him according to biblical principles, and not your own.

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