First Baptist Church of Texico
Tuesday, February 20, 2018
Search this site.View the site map.

Philosophy of Ministry 

Within the workings of the church there can always be found true ministry and false ministry, a valid and an invalid ministry.  All valid ministry is initiated, empowered, sustained and completed by the Lord Jesus through the Holy Spirit.  True ministry is always marked by righteousness and holiness (Rom. 14:17; 2 Cor. 7:1).  No work (or "ministry") of the flesh is of any value in God's Kingdom (Phil. 3:3-8).  The work of a man or woman of God, though he or she be beset by weakness, ignorance and frailty in many ways (Rom. 8:26) will prosper if it is a work of God (designed, initiated, empowered, and sustained by Him.)
Section 1:  God Initiates Ministry.
A ministry (service) in the Kingdom of God is valid only as it related properly to the King.  He is the initiator or all true ministry.  That is true of any kingdom.  In the Gospel of John, Jesus revealed that he was "sent" by His Father (John 6:57).  John the Baptist spoke of being sent by God (John 3:28) and testified that Jesus was sent by God (John 3:34).  Jesus sent His disciples out as He had been sent (John 20:21).
It is the same in all the history of the church.  God, the Righteous King, sends His people to minister in his Name and by His Authority, power, enablement, direction and for His glory and the sake of His Kingdom.  John the Baptist understood this (John 3:26-35).  Luke testified of this in describing the ministry direction given to Paul in Acts 16:6-10).  The record in Acts reveals that the Holy Spirit initiated the ministry of Barnabas and Saul (Paul) (Acts 13:2) and the ministry of the Ephesian elders (Acts 20:28).  In Col 4:17 Paul told Archippus to "take heed to the ministry which you have received in the Lord."
Section 2:  God  Empowers for Ministry.
Not only does the Lord initiate ministry according to His desire and design but He is also the one who empowers and strengthens His servants for that ministry.  Paul clearly spoke of this in Col. 1:29.  The Lord is the source of our strength for the walk and warfare of our service in the Kingdom (Eph. 6:10-20).  He holds us responsible to rely upon Him and to obey and fulfill what He calls us to do.  In Col. 4:17 Archippus is told to "fulfill" the ministry he received.
Section 3:  God Holds Us Responsible
Paul balances God's empowering with our labor in 1 Cor. 3 by speaking of the fact that (1) God is the source of all life and growth in our Kingdom labors and (2) He holds us responsible for the kind of labor we do (I Cor. 3:8-15).  The gold, silver, and precious stones speak of that which comes from His righteous workings in and through the believer.  The wood, hay, and stubble represents the workings of the flesh even as it does in Jeremiah 23:16-32.  There, God compares the ministry of those who speak out of their own imagination (initiated by a fleshly mind) as furnishing the people "straw" (Jer. 23:28) rather than good grain.  Their "ministry" failed to furnish the people with "the slightest benefit."  (Jer. 23:32)
We are responsible to wait in faith on the Lord until He gives direction and then act in faith on that direction.  What is not of faith is sin - missing the mark (Rom. 14:23).  We can be assured that when He gives direction there is peace because the wisdom from above is peaceable.  When there is strife and disorder one can know He has not spoken and that waiting is needed (James 3:13-18).  Paul refused to listen to or depend on the flesh (Phil. 3:3-8; Gal. 5:16-17) and chose to walk by faith in all life and ministry (Phil. 3:9-21; 4:1; Gal. 2:20; 5:22-25) depending on the Lord's leading and empowering (Col. 1:29; Eph. 6:10, et. al).
Section 4:  God Gets the Glory for His Ministry.
All ministry is for the sake of the King and His Kingdom.  Jesus taught His disciples to pray "Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven" (Matt. 6:10).  God is to get the glory.  I Cor 3:21 reminds us that no one should boast in men and I Cor. 1:29 says, "no man should boast before God" rather let all boasting be done about the Lord and His work (I Cor. 1:31).  Romans 11:33-36 reveals in one sweeping declaration that "from Him and through Him and to Him are all things.  To Him be the glory forever.  Amen."