I don’t know what I am doing most of the time in ministry. (I know…shocking, isn’t it?) I mean after all, I have been in ministry for about 28 years. You’d think I would know something!
Yes, I do know a few things here and there and there may even be a handful of things I could say, “I’m an expert at (whatever that means!).” However, in all honesty, ministry is organic. It is living, active and always changing. Why? Because ministry is not a bunch of methods and absolute do’s and don’ts. Often times, what worked yesterday with a certain group of people may very well not work at all today with a different group of people. Yes, there is absolute truth that never changes, but ministry is more relational than absolute. The absolute truth is our non changing core, but how people receive and grow in that truth is often more organic than definitive.
Ministry is people. People grow at different paces, encounter different problems, have various needs, reveal a whopping change in personalities, and more. It’s hard to make one method that worked with one person work with another person. Keeping up with this is well…like I said, I don’t know what I’m doing!
But there is one thing I do know. I know the God who knows everything. If I am in total submission to His Spirit and His plan, then whatever I do is excellent and a perfect match for the one person I am serving. Why? because God is doing it through me!
Some might see God as a harsh and cold principle – the big man in the sky that doesn’t bend or move according to the needs of men. But God is just as living as we are. He’s a person, not a principle. His approach is personal, not methodical. Truth is His constant but His dealings with man are unique. To add to this nature, he is perfect, without sin, and omniscient (knowing all); He can know the very approach that works best with each person. What a comfort for me as a minister who feels ill-equipped most of the time!
As I rely on the Perfect Omniscient God, he directs my approach as I minister to the various people in his world. Yes, our education and training is important; however, relying on God (vs. just our own human edification) means He dictates what part of our tutelage will best fit each person he puts in our path that needs him.
May we always remember “To God be the glory – to man be the servant!” Amen?
“Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed–not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence–continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose” (Philippians 2:12-13).