Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Some Thoughts On Ministry

Many thoughts this morning of ministry, vision and singular leadership.

"The words of the wise are like goads, and like nails firmly fixed are the collected sayings; they are given by one Shepherd." - Ecclesiastes 12:11 ESV

"The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God's church? He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil. Moreover, he must be well thought of by outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, into a snare of the devil." - 1 Timothy 3:1-7 ESV

"For an overseer, as God's steward, must be above reproach. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain, but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined. He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it." - Titus 1:7-9 ESV

The word 'overseer' (sometimes translated Bishop) is a word linked with nurturing. The oversight is given for care to be administered.

A vision is something that must be nurtured. A ministry is not first and foremost an organizational term it is a vehicle for nurturing. God shares something with a person and that person experiences it as a 'vision'. That vision might be dramatic or it may be a quietly growing desire. Then the person makes choices. A vision can become a ministry. One of the confirmations of a vision is that other people walking with God in a nurtured relationship will give confirmation when something is truly of God. The 'vision' will have Biblical compatibility.

"And what they said pleased the whole gathering, and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolaus, a proselyte of Antioch. These they set before the apostles, and they prayed and laid their hands on them." - Acts 6:5-6 ESV

The Church is God's vision and it is an amazing one but we are all individual gardeners... nurturers... overseers... under the Master overseer of all. One person can nurture. Each of us can have a ministry as we are a part of a larger ministry.

What has God given you to nurture? If 'doing' is the focus then a shift needs to happen. If we are cut off from God's care what resources will we have to care for anything He has given us?

Let's draw near to God and nurture what He has given us. No condemnation, greed or envy just care for the precious things and people.


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