Summary: Characteristics of a God honoring ministry
A God Honoring Ministry
In our look at chapter 1, we found that the church at Thessalonica was quite a remarkable church. This was a church made up of people who were clearly saved, they were faithfully laboring for the Lord, they were both evangelistic and mission minded, and they were anxiously awaiting the return of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. In Paul’s mind and certainly in the mind of the Lord God they were a remarkable church.
Every church that belongs to the Lord can be a remarkable church if they will but strive to be so. We know that not every church will accomplish the same results, nor will every church grow to a large number. Some of the Lord’s most successful churches in the world today may be made up of just a few members. It is not the size of the work that matters so much as the church’s faithfulness to the ministries to which they have been called by God. Are they doing what Jesus has told them to do and are they doing it in such a way that God is honored?
Perhaps a more important question for us tonight is whether our church, Woodlawn Baptist Church is doing what God has called us to do and whether we are doing it in such a way that God is honored in it. Assuming we are doing what God has told us to do, from our text in chapter 2, tonight I want to deal with whether God is being honored in our work. Are the ministries of Woodlawn Baptist Church God honoring ministries? And the only way to appropriately answer that question is for me to address each of you individually – are your ministries God honoring ministries?
Consider for a moment the various ministries of our church:
· Perhaps you are a…
o Nursery worker
o Children’s chapel worker
o Sunday school teacher
o Discovery teacher
o Bus driver
o Lawn keeper
o Helper, a volunteer in some ministry
· Is what you are doing bringing God honor?
That is the question we must all seek to answer tonight, for if God is not receiving the honor for what is happening in our respective ministries, then something needs to change, and that something is going to have to be you. I can’t change you, nor can anyone else. If God is not receiving honor in your place of ministry – if He is not the focus – then you are going to have to adjust your methods, your attitudes, your aims so that people quit thinking so highly of you and begin to consider what a wonderful God it is that we serve!
A God honoring ministry – that’s what we want. That’s what I want, and I hope it is what you want as well. If it is, how can you know? How do you know whether what you are doing, whether your ministry is bringing God honor or not? From the first 9 verses of 1 Thessalonians 2, I want to share with you 5 criteria that your ministry must meet if it is going to bring God the honor He deserves. If yours is a God honoring ministry, then …
It is a ministry that is producing results. (1)
As Paul addressed the Thessalonians, he said,
"For yourselves, brethren, know our entrance in unto you, that it was not in vain:"
When Paul and the others with him got to Thessalonica, they didn’t just come to town thinking it would be a nice place to stay for a while. They didn’t pick it for its wonderful architecture or beautiful scenery or even its abundant shopping. They got there on purpose with a purpose, and that was to preach the gospel of Christ. The word entrance means the beginning of their gospel work. He said that that work was not in vain. In other words, it wasn’t empty or fruitless. It was a work that produced results.
Every work done in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ for the Lord Jesus Christ ought to be a work that produces results. It doesn’t matter if you teach or preach or pray or give or clean or mow or baby sit, your ministry ought to be a ministry that produces results. Does that mean that every ministry or every work for the Lord is going to be bringing people to the Lord? Yes and no.
First the no. Not every work is going to result in the salvation of souls directly. Mowing a lawn never won anybody to the Lord. Vacuuming a floor never got anyone saved, but every work for the Lord will draw men and women to the Lord either directly or indirectly.