What is ministry, anyway?

Discussion in '2005 Archive' started by Dr.Tim, Apr 11, 2005.

  1. Dr.Tim

    Dr.Tim
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    All of us who have been preaching for a decade or more have come across members who have absolutely NO CLUE as to what ministry is about.
    I believe it was Squire on this board that made a comment about "being faithful" as our true calling, and not "being successful". True statement. Those of us who work with the Deaf know that our ministry is going to be the smallest in the church, in most cases. It will be just as hard, or harder to keep those who are Christians coming faithfully to the services. If we are sincere in soul-winning, we know that there are so many barriers to cross with the Deaf that many won't understand the simplest presentation.
    I dont want you to think that I am of a negative mindset, just letting you know that there is no harder ministry than working with the Deaf. This fact makes it much more imperative to understanding what ministry is all about. We are called to minister in a certain ministry or work, and we are told to be faithful to that calling.
    There is NO guarantee that we will see numerical or spiritual growth. In a city like mine which is filthy with sin and immorality, we are unable to draw more people, not because of how we run the ministry, but because of what we ARE. We stand opposed to Mardi Gras, to gay marriage, etc, and believe me, it is not a popular position, but one that we take with knowledge and belief that it is the one God has told us to take.
    What is ministry? Evangelism, discipleship, counseling, worship, preaching, teaching, etc. I am getting tired of the complaints from people that our group has not grown. I am tired of people asking me if we will shut down. Some say that we have not been blessed. Some say our approach is wrong.
    I can only say that each week, my people get a message hot from the prayer altar. I do not preach "re-runs" and each week the people will see a message that God has given me. I dont copy Charles Stanley even though the man is far better than I am. My S.S. teacher is a godly man who uses pictures to tell the story of Israel (now at the walls of Jericho in the story-telling)and his knowledge of stories exceeds my own. We do go visiting. We have had some people saved. I think we are doing well, but there is a problem.
    Rememeber "Can these bones live?" story?? The message was not so much a message to the house Israel as it was to those sent to preach to the Israelites. The whole point is there is an ATTITUDE prevalent with those chosen to preach and minister which is not one of hope. The bones, being VERY DRY.. could they live again? That story has been one that has lifted me, has kept me on my feet in the ministry. Someone mentioned William Carey who spent six years on the mission field before ONE person was saved.
    Ministry is acknowledging where God has placed you and being faithful in it. It entails more, of course, but this is the one thing we must remember.
    The Lord watched me in my deaf mission in another town when I preached to an empty room.
    Seeing people fill the church is an exciting thing, but the most important thing is for us to remain faithful.

    Any thoughts? serious,, time for Tim to get some encouragement when my best friends are trying to discourage me. (and I am not kidding).
     
  2. exscentric

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    I have followed a work in Ireland that was going about 40 years ago and I think it had been there another ten before that. To date they still don't have a group big enough to do a building.

    They have produced some good workers that have moved elsewhere which is good but they are seeing a constant turn over and minimal growth numbers wise.

    I've always viewed them as some of the most faithful in ministry that I've run across. In fact the work has worn out a couple or two that became too old to continue.

    I've said many times Christ said He would build His church so numbers are on His back not mine if I am doing what He tells me to do :)

    Off hand, "best friends" is a term I might reconsider if they were trying to disocurage me. Guess you know what Job felt like.
     
  3. gb93433

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    William Carey saw his first new believer after 11 years.
     
  4. Dr.Tim

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    thanks exscentric.. for the tip.. I honestly believe the Devil himself is behind all of this and these folks who are telling me these negative things.. for the life of me, I just cant tag those comments on to them. i think its from the devil.

    GB..11 years???????? I thought six years. WOW.
     
  5. av1611jim

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    Tim;
    The essence of ministry is serving God. That alone is "job" enough for anyone. Some of the skills required are those you have already mentioned. I might add, that another "skill" one must develope is "tough skin". You must not let the "murmurors" detract from your call.

    I, too, know what it is like in "God's waiting room". I once had a good prison ministry going in another state. Today I am where I am at, learning a few things in preparation for going back into the prisons. I appears as though nothing good is coming of it, but I know this is where God has me.

    Let me encourage you brother. I do not know what it must be like ministering to the deaf, but at times, it seems that even though I may have an audience in prison, they too are deaf. Like I am talking to a wall. Nothing seems to be happening, but then a light shines in a man's dungeon of sin and God provides a ray of sunshine in what otherwise had become a drudgery.

    Any "friend" who is trying to discourage you, I would question their fidelity. Remember Jonathan? He was legally in line to succeed his father but he was faithful to David. And he did not begrudge David his rightful God given place. Any true friend would do the same. I am not dissing your friends, but at the same time, I have trouble thinking of them as being all that faithful in light of what you have shared with us.

    Romans 8 seems like the "pat" answer here; nevertheless it IS still in Scripture. Another thing I would like for you to remember is this. Although it is NOT Scripture per se, it is nevertheless true. The will of God will not place you where the grace of God cannot keep you. Chin up brother! It could be worse! You COULD be in Siberia! ;)

    In HIS service;
    Jim
     
  6. Dr.Tim

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    Thanks Jim. I can handle some of the murmurers but its especially hard when those who formerly encouraged you suddenly turn negative. One of them I have to admit has a different taste for preaching than I do.
    Our church called one man to come preach for us for a three day revival. The most dry messages full of flesh..screaming and pounding..so forced and fake-looking,.. rehearsed... I could see right through it and i was really looking forward to this guy preaching because I had heard so much. After that, he came back again and pretty much was the same thing. My friend was like.."Glory halleleujah!!!!!!!"
    So i dont care what they think of my preaching, but its the things that I cannot control that are thrown in my face at times.
    One lady who i planned to kick out (she left on her own) was the Devils voice for the first year at this church. I had one who was always countering her with encouraging statements and now this same person who once encouraged me is really giving me a rough time.
     
  7. av1611jim

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    Sometimes wolves are she-wolves!
    [​IMG]

    In HIS service;
    Jim
     
  8. Dr.Tim

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    its been the women all along that give me trouble..serious. Only one man gave me a little trouble, basically the women fight among themselves and when nobody else to fight with..they pick on me. :)
     
  9. exscentric

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    "when nobody else to fight with..they pick on me. :) "

    Well then what are you complaining about, at least you are useful :)
     
  10. gb93433

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    What I find most troubling is when men will not lead and relegate it to their wives. They think men should lead and then call themselves leaders when they are not.
     
  11. Dr. Bob

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    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    New church work in Bill, Wyoming, population 4. More than once, on my walk to the outhouse, I wondered if God even noticed my sacrifice for Him.

    And then He reminded me of another sacrifice . .
     
  12. Ed Edwards

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    Saddest wail of all:
    I don't have a ministry, i'm a housewife.

    Sorry to ruin your pitty party.
    But 'housewife' is the first ministry every
    created by God.
    God called you to minister to your husband
    when you agreed to marry him.
    God called you to minister to the children
    when He sent them to you.
     
  13. Servent

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    Talking about speaking to a deaf ear try speaking to 130 teenagers, more than half who are not saved (working on that part) Never happy about what is going on, alway's complaining about something. Then you have the church adults who dont understand why all these kids are in the church on wed. night!!!!!
    I would'nt change it for anything we had 10 of these come to know the Lord in the past few weeks.
     

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