Summary: What does an effective ministry look like? In Chapter 4:1-6, Paul penned down demands for an effective ministry.
DEMANDS FOR AN EFFECTIVE MINISTRY
February 5, 2006
Good News Christian Fellowship
BUCAS, Daraga Albay
Through Paul’s evangelistic activity, church leadership and theological insights, he had an immeasurable influence on the development of Christianity. Paul traveled extensively, plowing new mission fields and planting a number of churches. Aside from those accomplishments he penned thirteen New Testament letters. These letters grew out of his travels. Four of those letters: Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon were written while Paul is in prison.
Second Corinthians, however, is different from Paul’s other letters. It is most emotional, personal, bold and defensive. It shares the concern, passion, intimate feelings and thoughts of an apostle who is defending his own apostleship and ministry in a church which he founded.
Now in Chapter 4:1-6, Paul penned down demands for an effective ministry. What does an effective ministry look like? How should we present the gospel to the lost? Shall we emphasize on emotional persuasion? Are we trying to amuse men to join us in the fellowship? Is our ministry just for the sake of gathering crowd around?
Let’s turn to chapter 4 verses 1-6 and let’s see and examine what Paul had written here.
I. DO NOT LOSE HEART (v.1)
“Therefore” or "For this cause" – Paul is referring us back to what he mentioned in Chapter 3. It is about the ministry.
• What ministry he’s talking about? Verses 4-17 of Chapter 3 described it:
1. It is a spiritual, new covenant ministry (v.6)
2. Freedom in Christ, the glorious gospel (v.7-8); the good news about Christ.
3. It is the ministry of righteousness (v.9) (Imputed, Imparted)
4. It is the ministry of liberty (17)
• Liberty in grace
• Liberty in worship
• Liberty in giving
• Liberty in Service
However please take note Paul didn’t say “my ministry”. Instead he says, “We have this ministry” Every servant of God is given a service to perform. Our service, our ministry is a common task. WE labor together in the work of the ministry.
“We don’t lose heart” Though scandalized, maligned, abused, lied about, and despised, “we don’t lose heart” Though we do not see the success we would like to see, “we faint not!” Though many others do, “we don’t lose heart” We keep on doing what God has put in our hands to do.
Paul didn’t lose heart because of the greatness of his ministry, a ministry with OPENNESS, LIBERTY, and AUTHENTICITY. A ministry without veils- without anything to hide and without anything to prove.
Paul didn’t lose heart in the ministry for he received it by the mercies of God. He was given by God a great task: to be minister and to preach the unsearchable riches of God. (Eph. 3:8) We too in our ministry should have an abundance of mercy.
The servant of God must never lose heart regardless of the circumstances. Neither weariness nor opposition is to drive us to quit. Our task is too great and God mercy had done too much for us and will continue to sustain us. (I Cor. 15:58; Phil. 1:27)
II. HONESTY, INTEGRITY (v.2)
God demands honesty and integrity in our ministry. Correct mentality must eventually translate into ACTION. If motives are wrong, everything will be wrong. Their should be no dishonesty, no hypocrisy, and no pretence:
• In our action
• In our motives
• In our doctrine
In verses 2-4 Paul delineated how our life reflect effective ministry. He offered himself as an example.
1. Rejection of deceit – Paul renounce “things hidden’ or “shameful and secret ways” (NIV) Paul remain the same person in public and in private. Paul renounced things that will disgrace himself
The Minister is to renounce all secret and hidden…
2. Never “use cunning way” or rely on cleverness. Cunning means deception. It means a man will do anything and use any means to get what he wants. Our wit and charm don’t the kingdom of God. Techniques to attract people never Paul ways. Lord Jesus during His earthly ministry doesn’t use gimmicks to get results, or uses God-want-you-to-be-rich messages (actually you can hear that kind of message today in some churches). But this kind of messages is but a form of religious materialism.
Paul never played on peoples emotions. He presents the plain, unvarnished truth of the Gospel AT ALL TIMES. So with us, brothers and sisters, we don’t have to sugarcoat the gospel. Don’t be tempted to package it in an appealing box. The problem with some of them is that they tried to be non-confrontational in preaching the gospel, thinking that people might be offended and eventually will not accept the gospel. So they have to device some methods or ways to be non-offensive in their preaching. They tried to be so appealing, a user-friendly approach.