A 4-Part Definition of Ministry
Here it is:
Ministry takes place when divine resources meet human needs through loving channels to the glory of God.
- Warren Wiersbe, On Being a Servant of God
According to Warren Wiersbe, one of America’s long-term leading thinkers on ministry issues, this definition consists of four vital parts. Our church staff just walked through his definition of ministry this morning, which includes…
- Getting to know the divine resources God has made available,
- Compassionately seeing the real needs of people,
- Being a willing channel of God’s resources to people in need, so that
- God alone is ultimately glorified.
And Wiersbe also points out a prime scriptural example of this definition in action:
1 One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer–at three in the afternoon. 2 Now a man crippled from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts. 3 When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. 4 Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, “Look at us!” 5 So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them. 6 Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” 7 Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong. 8 He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God. 9 When all the people saw him walking and praising God, 10 they recognized him as the same man who used to sit begging at the temple gate called Beautiful, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.
- Acts 3:1-10 (NIV)
Notice that Peter and James compassionately saw the lame man’s need and became willing channels of God’s divine resources. As a result, this man and the surrounding crowd gave glory to God and many more people were brought to faith in Jesus.
It’s easy in ministry leadership to check off the next to do list item. But people matter far more than tasks. So open your eyes to the needs around you and be ready to be the channel through which God sends His resources. This is the essence of ministry and servant-hood.
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