Summary: The four signs of an addiction are also the four components of a meaningful ministry


Text: 1 Corinthians 16:13 – 16


• Ministry = “service”

o To God (Playing an instrument)

o To other Christians (Deacon)

o To the unsaved (Prison ministry)

o To those in need (Counseling)

• Addicted = Old English for “devoted”

• Four signs of an addiction = Four components of a meaningful ministry


A. Craving

• A strong need or compulsion for a drug

• Burden = a strong need or compulsion for your ministry

Acts 4:13 – 20

o Peter and John arrested for healing a crippled man and for preaching in Jesus’ name

• When was the last time that you felt so compelled to serve God that nothing else mattered?

B. Loss of Control

• Inability to stop taking a drug once you’ve begun

• Commitment = inability to stop doing your ministry once you know what is at stake

Jeremiah 20:7 – 9

o Jeremiah’s prophecies not fulfilled immediately

o Caused him to be ridiculed

o No record of anyone listening to him

• Why is it that we give up and quit so quickly?

C. Physical Dependence

• Occurrence of withdrawal symptoms when trying to quit using the drug

• Chastisement = occurrence of God’s intervention when we show signs of quitting our ministry

Proverbs 3:11, 12

• Preachers miserable because they will not preach

• Singers lost voice because would not sing or sing for wrong reasons

• Testifiers can’t sleep because didn’t testify

• Jonah

• It is a good thing that God reminds us when we are shirking our duties.

• Has God been trying to get your attention because you’ve been disobedient or slacking?

D. Tolerance

• The need for increasing amounts of the drug to receive the desired effect

• Zeal = the need for increasing involvement and success in the ministry

1 Corinthians 9:16 – 23

o Paul given a stewardship to preach the Gospel

o Though he was freed from the bondage of sin, he made himself a servant to see more souls saved

• What are you willing to sacrifice that your ministry might be successful?

• An evangelist accompanied a missionary on a missionary trip overseas. While there, one of the natives that had given his life to the Lord asked the evangelist, "Preacher, if the Lord gave you two houses, would you give one of them to the Lord?" "Certainly," the evangelist replied. The native continued, "Preacher, if the Lord gave you 2 million dollars, would you give 1 million to the Lord?" "Absolutely," the evangelist replied. Then the native asked, "Preacher, if the Lord gave you two cars, would you give one to the Lord?" The evangelist stood there for a moment, bowed his head, and walked away. "What is wrong with him?" the native asked. The missionary responded, "He actually HAS two cars!" We should realize that no matter what we "have," it was all given to us by God and we should be willing to use it for His service at a moment’s notice.

• Need to be willing to give up time, money, belongings, heart

• Shouldn’t be satisfied with one soul saved, or one good service of worship, or one drug addict recovered


• “I don’t have a ministry” – THAT’S your problem!

• Biblical model:

o Everyone has a ministry

o Everyone has only one ministry

o Everyone’s ministry fits into the big picture

• Goal: Every Christian in the church has a meaningful, ongoing ministry either inside or outside the church (see list of examples)

• Don’t need titles; need burden, commitment, chastisement, zeal

• Need to be saved BEFORE taking on a ministry

Possible ministries:

Mowing the Church’s grass


Being a Gideon



Composing Christian music

Creating props for plays


Running the sound system

Leading the service

Cleaning the church

Sewing costumes for plays

Being a trustee

Working in Men’s ministry



Being a deacon

Nursery worker

Fix-it up for elderly or low income



Nursing Home ministry




Junior Church worker


Prayer Warrior


Playing an instrument

Mailing cards and letters



Calling sick and shut in

Driving people to church and other places



Visiting the sick

Inviting people to church


Visiting the lost

Passing out flyers or tracts




Working in Women’s ministry

Youth leader

Soup kitchen


VBS worker

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