October 3, 2011.
Philosophy Of Ministry.
The Bible has a lot to say about ministry. In Acts 6 when the twelve disciples are confronted about a problem about a group of widows who were being over looked when food was being distributed, they said it wouldn’t be right for them neglect their first responsibility of prayer, preaching, and studying. They then charged the group to select some of their own who would be given the responsibility of caring for the widows who were in need. A minister’s responsibility, first and foremost, is to pray, preach, study, and train Christians to minister in their neighborhoods. In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus goes to a synagogue and reads a portion of Isaiah that says the Messiah would come to proclaim freedom for the poor and the oppressed, giving sight to the blind, and proclaiming the year of God’s favor. God’s people too must minister to the needy in any way possible, proclaiming God wants to set people free. In Ephesians, Paul told them that it is the responsibility of the ministers and church leaders to equip the members for their own works of ministry. In a couple of places in Ezekiel, God tells him he is a watchman. If God tells him to warn people of impending danger and he doesn’t do it the people will die, but God would hold the watchman responsible for their blood. But if he tells them, no matter if the people obeyed him or not, the watchman would have saved himself. Church leaders and ministers are watchmen over God’s people. We need to tell people what God tells them to say. Nothing less. Nothing more. So we see ministry is important to the life of the church. Ministry is our way of reaching out to our community at large and to our own as well.
I want to become a full-time minister, because I want to help people come to know the Lord and to grow in His love and grace. My Dad has been a full-time minister most of my life and I hope to do things similar to him. I want to be a minister as opposed to other forms of employment, because I want to give myself wholly to God and dedicate myself to serve His people on a full-time basis. I believe I have excellent study skills and work ethic, excellent people skills, time management, loyalty, preaching, and teaching. My spiritual gifts are encouraging, listening, and administration.
In ministry I have five goals. First, I hope to plan, develop, and grow outreach programs to both the local college campuses and the over all community. Second, I hope to plan, develop, and grow a discipleship program to help new Christians, new members, and everyone to grow in their love and knowledge of God. Third, I hope to plan and develop a visitation program to visit people who have recently visited the church, visit those who placed membership recently, encourage members who haven’t been to assembly in a while, and visit any who request visits. Fourth, I hope to plan and develop a prayer ministry to encourage growth in our prayer lives. And fifth, I hope to plan, develop, and grow an effective Christian Education program for all ages (little children all the way to adults). I believe God’s over all plan for His church is for it to grow both spiritually and numerically. I believe when a church is naturally healthy, it will naturally grow. When we are spiritually healthy, we will numerically grow. I hope to see a church that is multi-cultural, multi-lingual, and multi-racial. Mostly, I hope to see a church that grows more and more to be like Jesus. When I am old and I reflect on my life of ministry, I hope to see that God used me to effectively grow His church wherever He lead me to serve. I hope to see the church has grown spiritually and numerically. I hope to see the church is reaching out and ministering to college students and to the community at large. I hope to see the church is growing to love Jesus more and more each day.
Healthy churches are churches that have strong leadership. The leadership is filled with men who have servant hearts. Healthy churches should have strong biblical preaching from the pulpit and from the teachers. Healthy churches should have members with different gifts and abilities, and there should be someone there who knows how to blend all of these different gifts to bless God and His church. Should be different opinions on disputable matters (Romans 14 and 15), but also a willingness to accept one another as one in Jesus. There should be a good blend of young and old, retired, youth, young professionals, and empty nesters, and young families.
I don’t believe all healthy churches look the same. I believe all healthy churches will have varying differences here and there. But I do believe healthy churches have certain characteristics. Such things like talking about differing opinions in a healthy way. Having good and strong leadership in the elders, deacons, ministry staff, and ministry leaders. Ability of how and when to delegate responsibilities. I think there are many more that could be discussed pertaining to this, but that’s all that comes to mind at the moment. In all of the churches, I believe a key role for the minister is to encourage and maintain unity and joy. The church’s leaders must always seek to be learners and servants. They should lead by example and never by an iron fist. They should always mind the examples of Paul to Timothy and Titus and what their respective letters say about leadership.
My own leadership style would “do as I do”, example-driven style of leadership. I don’t believe in using a title or position as a means of commanding people to do things. If the church sees me serving, hopefully they will follow suite.
In my first year at a new congregation I have several objectives I hope to accomplish. First, I want to visit every family who are members of the congregation in my first year there. I want to get a feel of their place in the church, find out what their personal duty or ministry is in the church, see what their level of personal involvement in the church’s work is. Second, I want to study the history of the church there and the history of the city, county, and state. Third, I want to start to get to know people in my own neighborhood, the church’s neighborhood, the local college(s) and other schools if possible, grocery stores, and some of the local fast food places and restaurants. Fourth, I would like to preach and/or teach a series on the church of Christ, on each of the Gospels, Acts, Ephesians, Joshua, and 1 and 2 Samuel. And fifth, I would like to develop or enhance some church-wide activities like visiting a nursing home, a visitation program to visit recent visitors, new members, those who haven’t been to church in a while, and others; a discipleship program, especially for new converts; outreach activities to our neighbors, college students, and local businesses (if it would be allowable).
Let me close by saying I am excited about any possibility of working with the church. I want to always be your servant and help you in any way I possibly can. I want to always have a learners mentality and learn from each and every member of the Lord’s church. I may not have a lot of experience or education, but I do have a lot of enthusiasm, passion and desire to serve. I want to be flexible and listen to the Lord and His Spirit and let Him guide my steps. God bless you all. I hope to hear from you soon. Grace and Peace.