2 Tim. 4:2
Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
These words from Paul, scratched on parchment by the light of a flickering candle, deep within Nero’s death dungeon, remain vital to everyone in Christian leadership today. There are many accolades you can ascribe to the Apostle’s ministry, and one of those is relevance. Relevancy doesn’t have as much to do with methods as it does with principles. Methods can be like Saul’s armor; the suit may fit the king but it’s excess baggage on the shepherd boy. Principles are transferable. Such as this one: What is the stated, printed, well-known philosophy of your ministry? Is it clearly understood by one and all what you are trying to do?
When I was a young pastor, decades ago, this concept of fully understanding what I was trying to do was drilled into my mind by a highly successful and caring pastor. I learned quickly that if I did not have a God-given plan for almost anything in my life, my activities for the Lord quickly meandered into meaninglessness. A well-known pastor helped me the most when he said, “Dan, you have to be able to answer three basic questions about your work for God: 1) What are you trying to do? 2) How do you plan to go about it? 3) What motivates you to stay on course?
The first of those questions (the “what”) is your philosophy of service to God. The second question (the “how”) is your vision. The Bible warns flatly that without vision people die. Most Christians will tell you most sincerely that they are trying to reach their area for Christ. Fine. But HOW do they plan to do that? Such success in evangelism doesn’t just “happen.” And the third question puts in place very firmly your reason for ministry unto God (and yes, we are ALL ministers unto God!). If our motivation is not to exalt Christ and give Him the glory, then we are wasting our time as far as the Judgment Seat of Christ is concerned. Read very carefully I Corinthians chapter 3.
Prayer: O God, help me to understand my mission in life. Teach me how to accomplish it. And help me examine my motivation for everything I do. If it’s for my own pride, forgive me. If what I do is truly for You, help me! Amen.