Summary: Principles for an effective ministry shared at an Ordination Service.
Derrick, I am honored to be able to give you this charge tonight. And as I thought about what to share w/ you I found myself thinking not simply about tonight but what I would want to hear about Derrick Ronk 10, 15, 20 years down the road? Now there are a number of things I pray I will hear such as:
- You have remained true & dedicated to the Lord
- Your marriage has continued to be a biblical &
- You have kept yourself unspotted from the world
- And many others…
But the one I would like to address tonight is this: it is my prayer & earnest desire that whenever I hear the name of Derrick Ronk I would also hear of a man who has had & is having an effective ministry for the Lord. I’m sure that is something you desire as well.
But that does raise a question – which is - are there some principles we can adopt that serve as a foundation for having an effective ministry? I believe there are although let me state I am giving you principles tonight not specific programs because you must discern from the Lord what He desires for you to do in the particular ministry where He has placed you. We have become a copy cat society, even w/in the Church & ministry. If something works in some church, immediately a book is published, seminars are conducted, it is mass marketed across the country & we race home to copy it in our ministry. [Example of Jerry Cook setting on a stool to preach & how others copied it.] I urge you don’t be so consumed with what is successful in such & such Church or with the latest guaranteed program – rather ask the Lord what His will is for the church He has placed you in.
But I want to share with you tonight some principles for an effective ministry – principles that are important no matter where you serve, no matter the size of the ministry you’re serving in, no matter what culture you are serving in – principles that will work anywhere. They are found in 2 Corinthians 4
1. Effective Ministry flows out of a Recognition that it is given to you by the Lord – 4:1
“Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry…” LB – “It is God himself who has given us this wonderful work.”
Derrick, while this Ordination Council is here to ordain you & while First Alliance Church has called you to be its youth pastor – we all are simply confirming that we believe God has called you into full-time ministry as a minister of & for Christ. But it is something, first of all, that is given to you by the Lord. He has called you as you have stated to us. And yes while you are accountable to this Church & the SAD you are foremost accountable to the One who has called you & given you this ministry. He is the one you must answer to ultimately. And that will be emphasized as you take your ordination vows shortly. And it seems to me to truly have an effective, God-blessed ministry; you must always bear in mind where your ministry comes from.
If you will, it will be a protection against ever thinking that this is your ministry or your church. That may not be a temptation now but the longer you serve in 1 place or the more successful & fruitful it becomes it is very easy to slide over & to begin thinking of it as YOUR ministry. I urge you to not ever lose sight that it is the Lord who has given you this ministry – which means He can also take it away.
2. Effective Ministry also Flows out of a Recognition that it is given to you out of the mercy of God – 4:1
NIV – “Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry…”
Derrick, you have worked hard in meeting all the ordination requirements & in that sense you have earned this ordination, you have earned this ministry. From the human perspective, you deserve it. But from heaven’s perspective you fall short, just like the rest of us. Based on heaven’s standard no minister is deserving of a ministry. The only reason any of us have a ministry is because it has been given to us by the Lord out of His mercy. It is out of His mercy that He saved you; we affirmed that truth all the time. But do not ever forget, especially as you begin to see God’s blessing & fruit on your ministry that it is also out of His mercy that He chooses to use you. It is out of His mercy you have a ministry.