A pastor was asked to speak for a certain charity. After the meeting, the chairman handed him a cheque.
“Oh, I couldn’t take this,” the pastor said humbly. “I’m just happy for the honor of being asked to speak. I’m sure you have BETTER uses for this money. You apply it to one of those.”
The chairman asked, “Well, do you mind if we put it into our Special Fund?”
The pastor replied, “Of course not. What is the Special Fund for?”
The chairman answered, “So we can get a better speaker next year!” I hope Leonard College may not be having a Special Fund like this.
Let me begin by asking you this simple question?
What is ‘ministry’ to you? How will you define ‘ministry’
Let me tell you this story to explain. Perhaps you’ve heard this story before. In hell there’s a huge table of food, and everybody has spoons that are four feet long and they’re all trying to feed themselves. So there’s discombobulation, disorientation, disenfranchisement — basically, just about every “dis” you can imagine!
Now the same scene plays out in Heaven (Just imagine) … same table, same food, same spoon lengths, different people. But the main difference here is instead of those people trying to feed themselves; those people are feeding one another.
In this two story, we find that – in hell, folks are trying to feed themselves. No value is added. God is not glorified. No changes take place. But in heaven, the Kingdom of God is ushered in.
Friends! This is what the ministry is about. Yes! This is what the ministry is about.
Yes! We may have different answers to this through our different experience of work.
Simply, A ministry is a special interest group that provides a service for others.
In Matthew Chap 22: Vrs14 Jesus said, “For many are called, but few are chosen“.
The call of God has been extended to every person on two levels:
First, The call to salvation – that is the relationship and
Second, The call to God’s purpose – that is the ministry
The first call (to salvation) is extended to every person (the “many”), but only those who respond to God’s call (the “few”) are actually chosen. In the same way, the second call to God’s purposes is extended to every person who has already responded to the first call, but God will only choose those who personally respond to that call.
I thank God that you and I have responded to both the calls.
We have to remember that in the ministry, a minister strives to attain salvation for others. Salvation in Greek is soterio that is “Total Well being of a person”.
We have learnt that Christian anthropology understands human beings as a holistic integration of body, mind and spirit. Pioneers of Christian nurture provided space for the development of all elements. Accordingly, in the past Christian communities, the ministers built hospital, school and church together in a service complex – hospital for the care of the body, school for the nurture of the mind, and church for the empowerment of the spirit.
Unfortunately, due to the marketization of all social systems, body, mind and spirit got alienated from each other, and as a result, human life has been torn to pieces. Rev. Ipe Joseph, the former General Secretary of the NCCI and the present Director of ECC, says, (I quote), “Today hospitals, schools, and churches became commercialized institutions. Children have become mere commodities and we helplessly watch our children lose their childhood. In this situation, (He adds) we need to stop for a while and think about our call and so our ministry”.
Luke 4:18 Jesus says, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,”
This is Jesus’s description of His ministry. The Holy Spirit within Jesus, empowered His anointing–His ministry. The church, which followed after Him in the book of Acts, filled with the Spirit–empowered in their anointing–their ministry–in the very same way…
1 To bring the Gospel to the poor……….
2. To heal….. (all manner of sickness and disease)
3. To bring deliverance….. (power to cast out the devil and every demonic stronghold)
4. To set at liberty…..(the Greek: apostello“–to freely release people to serve God)
5. Jesus’ ministry was directed to: the poor–the brokenhearted–the captives–
Yes! Ministry is: The Christ within a Christian, reaching out and serving others–in the same way that Jesus demonstrated to us in His life on earth. Preaching the Gospel, healing the sick, casting out the devil, releasing others to serve God–all in the name of Jesus the Christ. The purest definition of the “church” is a group of people who work together to carry on Jesus’ ministry. This is and should be a ‘desired ministry’
My dear Friends! Please Re-think about your call and so your ministry.
I’ll conclude with the words of St. Peter who said in I pet 2:9 (Listen to this) He says, “You are an elect race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession that you may show forth the excellence of Him who called you….”
Rev. Dr. Joel Patrick is currently working as the Associate Professor in Communication at Bishop’s College, Kolkata
Photo by Nycholas Benaia on Unsplash