Summary: So often we have to remind ourselves of what our calling in Christ is... we have to be reminded that we are ALL called to minister...
Date Written: November 2003
Date Preached: November 26, 2003
Church: OZHBC (Wed night)
Title: A Reminder for Ministry
Text: Colossians 4:17
When the Apostle Paul wrote a letter he would also include some miscellaneous items that were important BUT not the focus of the letter.
Here we find Paul doing this in the final verses of the book of Colossians. Now although we know almost nothing about this man Paul addresses as Archippus.
There are some who think he may have been the son of Philemon.
There are still others who believe that he was the pastor of the church that met in Philemon’s house.
It is not really known WHERE he served… if he even served in a pastoral position or not!
To tonight I want us to take a look at some reminders that we can find in this verse to the ministry that Paul charged to Archippus and likewise to the ministry we are ALL called by God to do…
The first reminder is that
MINISTRY IS PERSONAL!
Our ministry is a personal matter. Paul addressed this particular reminder to one particular person… ARCHIPPUS!
All Christians have a ministry to which they have been called… each of us may be doing something different in the Kingdom, but we are ALL called by God to minister for the Kingdom.
This personal ministry is to have precedent in our lives. Jesus assured those He taught that He had come into the world to minister rather than to be ministered to.
We find God calling Moses, Samuel, Paul into very specialized type of ministry for His sake and each of these people made the ministry that they were called to a precedent in their lives.
Also this very personal ministry God has called us to is a permanent ministry that God has called us to.
There have been stories throughout missionary history where missionaries have been placed by God in certain situations and from an earthly perspective it seems to be futile.
Take William Carey for example, in his first 7 yrs in India we know that he had NO conversions, but he would not leave because he believed that God had placed him there and unless God moved him… it was permanent assignment.
There was this missionary in Dakar, West Africa who met with Billy Graham in 1960 and he told how he had been there for 10 yrs and ministering to the Muslims of the area.
Graham asked him how many people had accepted Christ in that time. He thought for a moment and told Graham that 2 or 3 had made a profession of faith in Christ.
When Graham’s team members asked this man about his unsuccessful mission attempts… they asked him point blank, “If there are so few converts, why are you here? Why do you stay?”
The man thought for a moment and then said, “I stay here because God placed me here… not because of what I have chosen…”
This man realized that God’s decisions must be permanent in our lives and we are to lean on Him.
But not only is our ministry a very personal thing, I can also see where our ministry is a very practical matter for the believers.
We need to WATCH WHAT IS DONE in our ministry. Paul is telling Archippus here that he is to ‘see to it…’
IN ministry we watch what is actually DONE. There are many different jobs in ministry and they have different priorities.
Pastoral care, encourager, prayer, Bible study are ALWAYS going to be priorities in the ministry.
And we must be up to the task of seeing that these task ARE done and done in the way that God desires.
But we are also called to monitor and oversee HOW ministry is done. In ministry the end does NOT justify the means.
We must ensure that our ministry honors and uplifts and glorifies Jesus Christ in all we do and say. We must make sure that our ministry is done in such a way that it points people to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
We must ensure that how our ministry is done brings glory to GOD and not to us.
The 3rd reminder that we can find in this verse is that our ministry is to have purpose.
To ensure that your ministry in the church DOES have purpose you must first seek out the source of that ministry.
We find Paul telling Archippus that he was to complete the work you have received from the Lord. The ministry that Archippus had was from God.
As believers, we must constantly re-evaluate whether or not we are doing this for GOD… did God give us this ministry, or is it a creation of our OWN?