Expressions of faith: Better ministry mind-set

Dr. Monterey D. Lee, Sr.

Motivation for ministry moves from “What does the church want from me?” to “How can I grow in Christ?” It is not for your pastor, friends, or church. It is out of your love for Christ, your desire to become like Him, and your own Christian growth. Motivation for ministry is ministry done on a ‘want to’ basis and not in response to a plea or under a pressure of guilt situation.

How do we move toward a better-motivated mind-set about ministry?

1) We move from thinking in terms of guilt, pity, friendship and persuasion to thinking in terms of calling, gifting, invitation, and gratitude. Calling: We are each called by God into ministry through the words of Jesus Christ. “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth,” Acts 1:8. Discovering our personal calling means surrendering, seeking, and listening to God about what God might have us do in the world as witnesses to the Gospel. Gifting: We have been given abilities, training, and resources. What gifts do we have that could be used in ministry? Invitation: We are invited to follow Christ and His ethics—to live our lives following His model of love and ministry. Gratitude: How shall we show our thanks to God for what God has done for us? ‘Servant hood’ is the core of the salvation response. John 13:14-17 says: “Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than His master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent Him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.”

2) We preach, teach, illustrate, and reclaim the priesthood of all believers. “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy,” 1 Peter 2:9-10. Pastors become coaches, not quarterbacks. When the church membership tosses the pastor the ball, the pastor tosses it back. Pastors do their work on the sidelines as coaches. Members play the game. Pastors trust church members to run with the ministry ball and to make the touchdown (win souls for the kingdom of God).

3) We are to equip people for ministry. “So, Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip His people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up,” Ephesians 4:11-12. Training, support, and encouragement go a long way in giving church members confidence in ministry. Equipping also includes helping individuals develop a spiritual and theological foundation for doing ministry.

4) Pastors provide a structure on which to build our ministries. People gain a way to relate their ministry to their faith, and to the life of the rest of the church. This is the function of the motivation for ministry.

Motivation for Ministry is a method of identifying needs. As you begin to now identify your motivation for ministry, be encouraged to be active with a better ministry mind-set.

Expressions of faith — 20/20 vision