How to Do Ministry, part 2
Anyone involved in serving God has experienced hindrances, difficulties, disappointments, and failures. Part of that is normal. Human failure is a normal part of life. No matter what we do, there is always a potential for failure. But there are other reasons for difficulties and hindrances in Christian ministry. The Bible tells us that those who serve God are engaged in a great spiritual battle. The “god of this world” and the principalities, rulers of darkness, and spiritual wickedness in high places are all arrayed against those who serve God. We should expect satanic opposition whenever we engage in Christian ministry.
In 2 Cor 4:1, Paul says “we have this ministry,” and then he goes on to describe how he and his colleagues conduct the ministry. He makes a comparison between the right way to do ministry and the wrong way to do it. As we approach ministry, we must make sure to avoid the pitfalls he mentions here and adopt the proper way of doing ministry.
Most of us are not in the same kind of ministry that Paul and his colleagues were in. We are not traveling all over the place trying to establish churches. But there are many forms of Christian ministry. If you are serving in any capacity here at church, then you are involved in Christian ministry. Ministry is just service. If you are serving the Lord, then you are in the ministry. And you should be following the biblical pattern of ministry.
Last week we looked at part of this passage.
Paul warns us first to avoid common pitfalls like faintheartedness, shameful behavior, cunning deceitfulness, mishandling the Word of God, and self-promotion. Misbehavior like this is sadly quite common in many churches, but we must do our best to avoid it.
Second, Paul exhorts us to proclaim the truth openly and honestly, call for a personal response to the truth, proclaim the Lordship and authority of Christ, serve for Jesus’ sake, and trust that God will shine the light of his truth into the hearts of our hearers. If a church is operating in that way, you can be confident that it is pursuing a biblical form of ministry.