How to Minister to Others #1:
“This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief. However, for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life. Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.” (1 Timothy 1:15-17).
“Then He appointed twelve, that they might be with Him and that He might send them out to preach, and to have power to heal sicknesses and to cast out demons.” (Mark 3:14-15).
Almost immediately after I became a Christian, I wanted to minister to people: to love them, serve them, and bless them. The Lord Jesus had been so good to me, and made such an incredible difference in my life, that I wanted to share His love and power with all those around me. In the beginning, I had a great passion for the Lord, but not a lot of wisdom, and because of that, I wasn’t as effective as I could have been. However, over the years, there are many things that I’ve learned in my journey of faith that have helped me to become a more effective minister. For the next couple of days, I’d like to share with you some of the things that I’ve learned, and hopefully they will help you to minister to others also.
Before we get started, allow me to share a foundational Scripture with you that will help you to see that all Christians are called to be ministers. “Think of ways to encourage one another to outbursts of love and good deeds. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage and warn each other, especially now that the day of his coming back again is drawing near.” (Hebrews 10:24-25). We have a responsibility to one another to encourage and challenge one another in the Lord. After all, it was Lord Jesus who said, “Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” (John 13:35). Here are a few foundational principles that will help us as we step out and begin to love and serve and bless one another, and the people in the world around us…
1. The “in me first” principle. Paul said, “However, for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering.” If we haven’t experienced personally the freedom, love, joy and peace that come from having a relationship with the Lord Jesus, then we’re going to have a hard time sharing that with others! Before you step out and begin to minister to others, take time to be with Jesus and allow Him to minister to you, first.
2. Our lives need to be an example to others. Paul said that his life was, “a pattern to those who are going to believe…” In other words, he was saying, “Follow me as I follow Christ.” It is hypocritical to tell people, “Do as I say, not as I do.” You’ve heard the old adage, “Truth is more often caught than taught.” It’s true. If you want to minister God’s love and truth to others, then let them be a reality in your own life first. Otherwise we become like salesmen handing out brochures to places we’ve never visited, and there’s no authenticity.
3. Our primary call as Christians is to be WITH Jesus first. The first thing the Lord Jesus called His disciples to do—before sending them out to preach the Good News and heal the sick—was to be with Him. This is where our boldness and effectiveness in ministry comes from. “Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus.” (Acts 4:13). The Lord Jesus Himself said, “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5). If you want to minister others, then Christ must be a reality in you first. Your life needs to be an example to others. And you must spend time with Jesus first. Now that we have laid a foundation, tomorrow we are going to look at 10 specific principles on how to minister to others.
Pastor Chris Jordan