Summary: One major problem that confronts many localized churches is that they are very conscious of the fact that the Ministry of the Church is supposed to be Effective, Effectual and Efficient, but they are at a loss as to how to make it so. So I want to give yo
One major problem that confronts many localized churches is that they are very conscious of the fact that the Ministry of the Church is supposed to be Effective, Effectual and Efficient, but they are at a loss as to how to make it so. Their dilemma is How to move from the Supposed to the Actual.
The truth of the matter is, many churches lack the necessary Tools or Means to accomplish the goal of being An Effective Church. Too often we have never considered the strategy involved in moving from a stale, static and slumbering assembly to an Energized, Focused and Effective Ministry that is actively and consistently engaged in the hurts, hopes, healing and struggles of the community in which it is planted.
For the most part, we are satisfied with just huddling for the sake of maintaining the routine activities of our weekly meetings (e.g., mission, brotherhood, users, choir rehearsal and prayer and Bible study). But if no one knows that you exist as a healing community, if no one knows of your ministry and mission, if no lives have been impacted by your ministry, if darkness and demons are still in force around you; then the truth of the matter is YOUR MINISTRY IS INEFFECTIVE! The thrust of the mission of the church is not in building and maintaining physical buildings and property; but the crucial question is, How are we Using the buildings and properties?
So I want to give you SOME KEYS, that is, Some Means or Instrumental Factors that you can use to gain Entrance into and Possession and Control of An Effective Ministry. As you know, Keys are only valuable when they are used to fit the specific lock or machine for which they were designed. And God has given us thru His Word the Keys to the Kingdom which houses those spiritual treasures and resources we need to function here on earth!
These are Keys to an Effective Ministry. That is, a ministry that produces a decided (unquestionable) effect; a ministry that is ready for Service or Action; a ministry that actually produces a meaningful and lasting effect or result; a ministry that acts in such a way as to avoid loss or waste of energy in effecting, producing or functioning.
And so I submit the will of Jesus for this or any other localized, authentic church is that Our Ministry Be Effective! Now right away in verse 1 this is hinted at by John Mark. For he immediately incorporated the adverb “Again” in relating this incident. Mark writes in verse 1, “And again He (Jesus) entered …” Now Mark is notorious for using the adverb “again,” for he uses it over 26 times in relation to Jesus and to others. In using it in relation to Jesus, Mark highlights the Againness of Jesus, His Persistence and the Repetitive Nature of Jesus’ Style; as if to say, Jesus was the Original Come Back Kid!
For repeatedly Jesus performed certain acts and repeated the pattern of certain events or incidents. There is a Pattern of Repetition that is displayed in the Ministry of Jesus. For thru-out this Gospel of Mark, we get snap-shots of Jesus as
again and again He went by the seaside;
again and again He entered into the synagogue;
again and again He passed over and back to the other side of the Sea of Galilee;
again and again He taught and preached;
again and again He taught the disciples privately;
again and again He performed miraculous works on the sick and demon-possessed;
and again and again He went away and prayed.
I submit to us that in these Repetitive Acts and Events is revealed the Persistence of Jesus. Meaning,
He will not leave us alone,
will not allow us to settle for the ordinary and the routine,
will not allow us to become complacent or satisfied with mediocrity.
HE COME BACK AGAIN AND AGAIN!
Mark says “And again He entered …”
By now we must have perceived in this Againness of Jesus a Strategy for making us Effective. For again and again He comes to prune us that we may bear much fruit. He desires our light to so shine before men that they may see our good works (effectiveness) and glorify our Father who is in heaven. So AGAIN AND AGAIN He trims and adjusts our light. In setting our lights on the lamp stand, His intent is effectiveness and efficiency, in that, our light is to give light to all that are in the house.
The Lord desires the church to increase and multiply both numerically and spiritually. His will is that the Ministry of the church produce results of a Lasting and Beneficial Kind. So, HE COMES BACK AGAIN AND AGAIN INSPECTING, TRYING, PRUNING, PURGING, NUDGING, CHASTIZING AND ENCOURAGING US ON TO GREATNESS IN MINISTRY! So Mark says in verse 1 “And Again (Anew, Afresh, Once More, Back Again) He entered …” This Againness of Jesus says that He wants our Ministry to be Effective in dealing with the Needs and Life-Experiences of Hurting Humanity! The Parable of the Barren Fig Tree illustrates it - Luke 13:6-9.