A New Life of Ministry to Others
There are two great adventures to this New Life: getting to know our God better and joining Him in the Rescue. We all get to play a part! Of course, only Jesus can save people (as we have found out by our own experience). But He delights in gifting us, training us and going out with us to seek and save those who are lost or hurting in any way.
His intention was the perfecting and the full equipping of the saints (His consecrated people), [that they should do] the work of ministering toward building up Christ's body (the church). Ephesians 4:12 AMP
Two Intertwined Adventures
The great thing is how these two adventures play off of and feed into each other. Because of our growing love for Jesus, we soon overflow. We can't keep it to ourselves. We will burst if we can't find a way to help others enter into the blessings we are receiving. We want the whole world to know Him! And we want everyone to grow in His direction. If only we could all come under His leadership. If only we could all receive His saving grace, healing and deliverance. What a different would this would be! In fact, that Day is rapidly approaching--the Day when He returns to reign. Until His Return, however, there is the Rescue.
In the meantime, the sight of so much human suffering cries out, making its love-demands upon our newly reborn hearts. Because we hear their cries, we cry out on their behalf. There must be something we can do! Jesus, How can we join You in the Rescue! So, begins the wild and crazy adventure of seeking to find our own special purpose and gain the equipping to help a lost and hurting world that many times (bizarrely) doesn't want to be either found or helped! You will quickly find that it is impossible to pursue ministry to others without pursuing Jesus for help, wisdom, resources and recovery. And so one adventure leads back into the other.
May these articles help you gain your footing and learn the lay of the land. Ministry to others brings incredible blessings and unexpected battles. Prepare for both!
Get Ready to Get Going
Before You Even Start Ministering to others is immensely rewarding and greatly needed, but it is our secondary calling. Unless this is clearly understood, the attempt to be of service will eventually lead to chaos, burn out, or hard feelings. Our Primary Purpose and our number one assignment is learning how to love the Lord with our whole heart in all our moments and in all our situations. The Lord packed a lot into the “first and greatest” command, but among other things it means that if we put loving and seeking Him first, the other things will fall into place.
Preparing for Ministry Considering the Lord’s high standards, you might think it takes a long time to get ready to do “ministry.” For some things, yes, a fair amount of training may be required, but for most things all you need is a heart and the willingness to jump into that sea of human need, lostness, and misery which surrounds you. Nevertheless, you will be “tested” on the job concerning these basics, so be sure you know what they are and have them in play.
Calling and Purpose Because He “calls” us we have not one, but two magnificent purposes to discover: 1) the joy of knowing Him intimately and 2) the unique way He designed us to be of loving service to others. These pursuits supply endless fascination! If our life is not characterized by discovery and adventure, we are probably missing the mark on both counts. As we enter more deeply into our purpose, “convergence” carries us ever closer to destiny.
The School of the Spirit There are lessons of the Lord which can be described in a classroom, but can only be imparted by the Spirit in the school of daily life. Being trained for ministry includes character development and spiritual growth, so expect “on the job” training to continue no matter what you are doing. That means leaning to survive trials and eventually thrive in the midst of them. Fortunately for all of us, our Teacher is also our Comforter and Best Friend!
Talents, Fruit and Gifts The Lord gives talents and natural abilities to everyone as a way of getting us started in life. You don’t have to be a believer to be a receiver of these—just develop what you notice. As believers, though, it helps to know the limits of these natural abilities in the spiritual life. Wiser still would be to shift our attention towards cultivating those gifts and fruit which are unique to we now are in Christ as His new creations.
5 Ministry Gifts Everyone benefits directly from these five gifts for they are given by the Father for the express purpose of building up the whole Body of Christ so that we can be fully equipped to play our part in the Rescue. Considering how important they are in God’s plan, it should not be too surprising that the enemy has tried to eliminate or decimate them. Several of these ministry gifts have nearly passed out of everyday experience for many in the church. The good news is that they are all staging a comeback!
7 Motivational Gifts These should be of particular interest to everyone, since each of us has been given at least one. Oddly enough, it’s not always obvious to us what our unique gift is. Perhaps the Lord enjoys playing Hide and Seek more than we might imagine! Here’s a clue: usually you will find them “hidden in plain sight,” since people often live out of their gift before they catch on to what it is. Intrigued? See if you can spot your own.
9 Manifestation Gifts Jesus never intended for His church to be powerless or penniless. Just as the tithe is the Lord’s provision for material supply, so the baptism in the Spirit is His provision for supernatural supply. Neither is forced on anyone, but when believers come into obedience, watch out! The “windows of heaven” open wide! Through the baptism in the Spirit, Jesus pours out gifts that will manifest as signs and wonders for the sake of ministry to someone He wants to bless.
Doing Ministry There’s nothing like doing the thing, especially when what we are doing is something we can be sure that Jesus is doing right along with us! The real Minister, the true Servant, is there on the inside wanting to get out into that hurting, lost world through us His chosen vessels. The secret to kingdom success is letting Him do ministry through you. Practice His presence as you learn "The Care of Souls," "The Art of Listening," "The Heart of a Servant," and "How to Give Talks and Lead Ministry."
The Heart of a Servant There are two sides to cultivating a servant’s heart which we see fully revealed in Jesus. They also dove-tail beautifully into fulfilling the two commands He gave us. First, there is the desire to “be about the Father’s business” which keeps us asking “What would You have me do?” This takes us upwards into God’s heart and downwards into the humility that sets self aside. Second, there is compassion which keeps us looking to the sea of humanity around us, listening for God’s call that comes to us through them.
The Care of Souls The people we pass every day on the streets will outlast the Grand Canyon and are of infinitely more worth than any governmental structure. How are we to “handle them,” especially when they come to us for ministry? Some are obviously stamped “Fragile, Handle with Care.” Others have their secret life hidden further from sight. We can easily be like bulls in a china shop, if we don’t take care with souls.
The Art of Listening Hearing what people say is one thing. Really listening is something else entirely. What turns listening into an art form is learning how to juggle listening to others and listening for the Lord at the same time. Listen well enough to others and you will more easily hear from the Lord. These simple rules and visual images will help put you on track, but only practice makes perfect.
Giving Great Talks There is one rule that governs all talks: make sure you have something to say! We can’t help you with that, but we can supply the coaching for how to know when you’ve got it (something to say) and what to do with it when you do.
Inner Healing and Deliverance Basic Discipleship enables us to prune the bad fruit off of our spiritual tree by calling on Jesus in any moment of need. Inner Healing and Deliverance are needed to pull out our deeply buried “root” issues. We all have them. They are unresolved stuff still stuck in us that produce bumper crops of bad attitudes and actions. “Where’s there’s fruit, there’s a root.” The great thing is that once you deal with the root, a lot a bad fruit goes away.
Leading Prayer Ministry This is only one of many ways of doing prayer ministry, but it has been highly effective. The great thing in the care of souls, as in medical practice, is to make sure you do more good than harm. This “method” has led to many happy outcomes.
Values and Guidelines Thanks to the ministry of inner healing and deliverance, there are countless thousands, perhaps millions, of Christians who have been marvelously healed and set free. Sadly, there are also others who have been thrown deeper into bondage and pain, because the enemy was able to use over-zealous and under-trained ministers to cause damage. When the footing is potentially treacherous—and you know it—it is always best to slow down, walk carefully and pray a lot! Let these values and guidelines give you balance and show the way.