Several years ago, if you had asked me what the ministry was like, I would have given you all sorts of answers. The ministry is about serving people. It’s Bible studies and discipleship. It’s cleaning church buildings and straightening chairs. It’s organising children’s programs and Sunday school curriculum. It’s practicing songs and lots of music. It’s youth clubs, youth camps, meals, counselling, admin, evangelism, baptisms, special services, ladies banquets, mens retreats, audio/visual, mission trips, children’s outings, etc. The list could really go on forever.
While all of these things are definitely a major part of what we do as we serve God, look at what Jesus says to those who asked Him how to do the work of God.
John 6:28-29, “Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.”
In the context, Jesus is telling them that salvation comes not through what men do, but through believing on what He did on the cross. They were instructed to believe on Him in order to be saved. In the same sense, effective ministry does not depend on what we do, but what we believe God will do. Just as we must believe Him to be saved, we must believe Him as we serve Him. Just as faith is essential for salvation, so it is essential for effective service and ministry.
For example, in Mark 11:24, Jesus told them to pray and believe. In Hebrews 11:6, God says that without faith, it is impossible to please Him. In Colossians 3:23, God says that in whatever you do, do it as unto the Lord, and not unto men. So our ministry is in vain, if we are not ministering in faith.
So while you are serving God through discipling a new believer, what if the ministry you do is not just the actual discipleship, but really it’s believing that God can do miracles in the heart of people.
And while you are learning a new language, what if the ministry is not just learning the language, but really it’s believing that God can and will give you the ability to speak the language.
And while you are busy doing evangelism, what if the ministry is not just telling people about Jesus, but really it’s believing that God has the power to turn their heart to Him and free them from sin.
And while you are teaching a Bible story to children, what if the ministry is not just the lesson, but really it’s believing that God can do mighty things in the lives of these children.
And while you are organising a ladies’ banquet, what if the ministry is not just the banquet, but really it’s believing that God has amazing plans for His glory for these women.
And while you are making meals at youth camp, what if the ministry is not just the cooking, but really it’s believing that God wants to build a gospel preaching army with these young people.
And while you are on deputation raising funds to move to a foreign field, what if the ministry is not just raising funds, but really it’s believing that God has the power take care of all your needs.
And while you are watching the babies in the nursery, what if the ministry is not just the babies, but really it’s believing that God has a message that He needs their parents to hear that will change their lives.
In Romans 14:23, God says, “whatsoever is not of faith is sin.” I would like to challenge those of us who are busy serving God and outwardly obeying Him, to make sure we are not just going through the motions. We must believe God is doing His work through us. The ministry isn’t just outward obedience; it’s also inward faith and trusting in God to minister through us.