Summary: Pastor Carmen challenges the church to do the work that God has called them to.
A ministry challenge for everyone
"Where there is no vision, the people perishf: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he".
In this church we have talked about:
the importance of ministry
how ministry needs to be focused on fulfilling our mission as a local church
what we need to be prepared to do ministry
the motivation for doing ministry and the eternal benefits of faithfully ministering
Yet…. There are many who have no ministry
Why is there such a problem getting ministries running within the church today? Why are we not seeing long-term commitments within ministry rather we see people trying out a ministry and quitting before seeing the results?
Ask your neighbor…why is that?
Well…let’s consider 3 possible reasons:
LACK OF VISION FOR MINISTRY
Prov. 29:18 Where there is no vision, the people perish; but he that keepeth the law, happy is he"
No ministry will just happen.
The children’s, men’s, ladies, agape Sundays, dance, etc.
They will not spring into existence magically…
We each must see the need to do ministry or we will not do it.
WHAT IS THE NEED?
Jesus challenged us to lift up our eyes and look.
John 4:35 "Say not ye, there are yet four months, (SOME OF US SAY…OH WELL…THERE IS STILL TIME…I HAVE PLACES TO GO, PEOPLE TO SEE, AND THINGS TO DO) and then cometh harvest? (THE KINGDOM WORK) Behold, I say unto you, lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest." (ready to work at them) In other words: be alert and attentive that there are areas that need to be worked on….
What is the significance of "lifting our eyes"?
I believe that this goes far beyond foreign missions
This is applicable to every area of our Christian life… we need to lift up our eyes
Is especially necessary when it comes to ministry.
II. PROCRASTINATION OF MINISTRY – this verse brings us to another reason why some people have no ministry.
A. Procrastination=to put off intentionally and habitually something that should be done.
Let’s take a closer look…
It is not just putting off what we know we ought to do…
But it is allowing other things to steal away our opportunities to do those things.
Eph. 5:15-16 "see then that ye walk circumspectly, not at fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil"
Col 4:5 "Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time"
Redeem= buy back, offset (counter balance) the bad effect, get back
Redeeming the time = taking advantage of every opportunity…using our time to its fullest potential.
Our lives get filled up with things that are not necessarily bad, but they tend to steal our time away from that which is most important.
The biblical word is ‘expedient’ which describes what is the best way for us to use our time. (spanish – expediente)
The third thought I want us to consider may be the one that is keeping more people from ministry than any other.
It can be discouraging to us if we do not see immediate results in our ministry.
But that is because of our sin nature…we are geared to see instant results.
Illustration of $1 million on April 1st or $.01 on the first and then double the amount each day.
By April 30th you would have over $10 million!
So we get discouraged in ministry because we do not look at the ‘big’ picture. (example: daycare; church; calling, etc)
Nothing we do for the Lord is wasted.
1 Cor. 15:58 "therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord."
God did not call us to be successful; He called us to be faithful.
1 Cor. 4:1-2 "Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found… powerful? Successful? Influencial? ) faithful."
How many servants of Christ have given up ministry, simply because they have became discouraged with the lack of results?
It is normal to expect results but we should not minister (pray, serve, attend church, give) "just for results".
As I share this story bear in mind that God calls us to be faithful, not necessarily successful (in human terms):
A pastor named Dr.Francis Dixon is a well known pastor in England. One day he asked a man in his church named Peter to share his testimony.
Peter said "this is how I came to Christ. I was in the Royal Navy. As I was walking down George Street in Sydney, Australia this little gray-haired man came up to me and said ‘ excuse me sir but could I ask you a question? I hope that it won’t offend you, but if u were to die today, where would u spend eternity? The Bible says that it will either be in Heaven or it will be in Hell. Would u think about that please? Thank u and God bless u and Toodle-oo!’