Summary: A message delivered to other pastors, noting the key ingredients necessary for a God-Blessed ministry.
- Read Hebrews 13:17 Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.
In 1st Timothy 1:15 the apostle Paul says Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners; of whom he is the greatest. I am convinced that Paul is not the greatest sinner, for as he himself says, he sinned out of ignorance and unbelief. I on the other hand, am different. Even after learning the truth as a child, I continued to sin ...
But you know what, in spite of my disobedience . . .God has chosen to use me. Spurgeon, in speaking on the ministry said he could never stoop to being king . Now, with that honor, with that calling comes a great responsibility. Let me tell you about the church where I pastor.
Talk about the backgrounds some came out of. The struggles they face now. Yet, each week they come wanting to know if they can find help, wanting to know if God has a word that will make a difference in their lives.
If your ministry is going to blessed by God. If God is going to use to you to help and restore people, then your ministry must be ...
I. CHRIST CENTERED
> John 12:32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.
-Mohammed Ali. When sitting on a plane one day, the stewardess told him he needed to fasten his seatbelt. In response He told her, “Superman don’t need no seatbelt.” She answered, “Superman doesn’t need an airplane.” My friends, you are not the builder of the Church, Jesus is. Yesterday, as I put out signs for visitors in front of the school where we meet, I noticed that our signs still said "Visitor," when I recently read that visitors feel more welcome if the signd read "guests." My friend, it is not the signage, though that is important, that’s going to build your church. People found John the Baptist in the middle of the wilderness. No, Jesus said, “If I be lifted up, I will draw all men to Me.” Our primary job is not building maintenance, your primary job and mine is lifting up the Lord Jesus Christ.
***Someone once accused Spurgeon of seeing Jesus in passages where He wasn’t. Spurgeon answered, “I’d rather see Him where He isn’t than miss Him where He is.”
Jesus said, “Apart from Me you can do nothing.”
II. BIBLE BASED
Did you notice what Paul did in this passage? He reminded his young apprentice Timothy about the value of the Bible, of God’s Word, and then he said, “Preach the Word.” … Today, 70% of those who claim to be Christians think we ought to leave people of other religions alone if it appears to be working for them. How in the world can they come to such conclusions? It’s because they don’t know the Word of God, and often that’s because they’ve been fed the latest theories, or the latest worldly counsel on Sunday Morning instead of the Word of God.
I got to thinking recently, about all of the books that I’ve been reading on church growth, and church planting, and such. I think of the countless hours I’ve spent studying such things, and then I think of comparatively few hours I’ve spent learning, studying, and memorizing God’s Word.
In Jacksonville several years ago, I saw a billboard in front of a church with the title for that coming Sunday’s message. The sign said, “How To Put Margin Back In Your Life.” The title came directly from the title of a book. Now, I’ve read the book and it’s a good one. It provided some insights that I’ve used myself, but you and I are not called to preach books, other than the original 66 we’ve been given. Many books give information, but only 1 brings transformation.
In John 8:31& 32 we read, Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
If we want to see people freed, we need not preach books about the Bible; we need to preach the Bible. I know that’s hard and it takes work, but it changes lives.
Recent studies have shown a high correlation between the time the pastor spends in sermon preparation & evangelism in the church. Growing, evangelistic churches have pastors that spend an average of 20 hours a week in sermon preparation; 5 times more than the typical pastor. Why? Because it takes study and work to mine and serve God’s Word, but it changes lives.