This month I chose a book from Pastor James MacDonald's reading list called On Being a Servant of God by Warren Wiersbe. He is a retired pastor (formerly Moody Church), speaker and professor. This book is specifically directed to those in Ministry with a capital 'M', but the author hopes that all in God's ministry with a small 'm' will benefit from it as well. In it he focuses on the basic principles of Christian service-those which he wishes were shared with him when he became a Christian. It is written in 30 short excerpts/chapters that build upon one another, starting with his definition of ministry: "Ministry takes place when divine resources meet human needs through loving channels to the glory of God." He encourages readers that it is only true Christian ministry that can change lives and solve problems, I would agree, but would make sure it is Biblical first and foremost.
Although, several of his excerpts addressed issues that did not specifically pertain to me, like how to graciously leave a position (staff) and when to step down from a ministry, I took several things away from this book.
Ministry involves people, imagine that!; and people disappoint and can be difficult to work with. He reminds readers to pray and ask God to increase our love (Matt 22:39) and know that the Holy Spirit enables us for any ministry challenge that God brings. "Our tendency is to pray for deliverance instead of growth"-isn't that so true! He writes that the best thing we can do is not to solve people's problems for them, but instead to relate the individual to God's grace in order to enable the individual to solve or overcome the problem.
Again, I was convicted by God's truths revealed in his writings. The two things that stood out to me are these: first, I often try to do things in my own strength and get frustrated when people don't respond or don't want to change or "get well" (John 5:6). Something that he wrote encouraged me, "Do your work by faith, and leave the results with the Lord. Always strive to do your best." And second, a simple one, when I am having an off day or just don't feel good, I need to have my mind made up that I will do and accomplish what God desires by the Holy Spirit AND to resist the temptation to tell others that I don't feel good (2 Corinthians 4:16 and Philippians 2:14).
He concludes with this:"All God's people are ministers, a few are Minister with a capital 'M.' we are either good ministers or bad ministers; but ministers we are, and as ministers we will be judged by the Lord on the last day. On that day it won't matter how much we knew, but what we did with what we knew (James 1:22). Were we loving channels through whom the divine resources could come? Did we meet the needs of others to the glory of God? (Scripture reference added)
Please let me know if you enjoyed this and how you were encouraged.
For His glory,