“If you don’t learn to minister for an audience of One, you’re probably not going to last very long in ministry.”
“Serve, and even when you get to the point of seeing no fruit, still long to serve faithfully because your Master has called you to it and He is worthy.”
If I’m being honest, I must admit that I often fall into the trap of believing ministry is all about performance – what we accomplish, how much change takes place, and who notices it all. Ministry becomes a destructive, self-centered cycle of trying to prove myself, trying to be well-liked, and trying to do something great (and clearly, at this point, true ministry has ceased to exist).
The above quotes were shared by CIU’s own Dr. Cooper in her Bible for Teachers class. Reflecting on her words has encouraged me in three particular areas:
We minister to God by ministering to others – it’s first of all for Him. This frees me from depending on the approval of others – they’re not my target audience.
The goal of ministry isn’t fruitfulness, it’s faithfulness. This frees me from depending on measurable, external results to be successful. Scripture makes it clear that if any fruit is ever produced at all, it’s because God did it, not me.
Ministry isn’t based on who I am, but on who God is. This frees me from seeking to prove myself to others – the key issue is God’s worth and call on my life, not my talents or abilities.
The process of growth is life-long; I’ll never master all these things in this lifetime. But I am thankful for the truth and the ability to remind myself of it time and time again.
For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever! Amen. (Romans 11:36)
Written by Abbey Le Roy, MA in Theological Studies from CIU's Seminary and School of Ministry
"Give us this day our daily bread." Matthew 6:11