The 10 M's of Ministry (Part 2)
In this continuation of this series of messages I want to focus on ways to mature and maintain ministries. As I mentioned in the previous message there are ten areas that I want to focus on to help us in this endeavor:
4.) I want to continue this series by discussing the fourth area of ministry - Maturity – The word warns us not to put someone in a position of leadership until they have had a chance to be proven and mature (1 Tim. 3 verse 6). Maturity doesn’t automatically happen over time, one has to allow hard experiences to cultivate a maturity. Faithfulness is an important part of maturity. The master in Jesus’ parable commended his servant about being faithful (Matt. 25 verse 21). Therefore, on the Day of Judgment we won’t be judged on how many books we have written or the number of sermons preached but on our faithfulness to what He assigned us to do. The maturity that I am talking about is not just social or emotional but also a maturity in the understanding of scripture. We can’t be tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine (Eph. 4 verse 14). In summary, we can’t reach our full potential unless we allow God to bring us to full maturity.
5.) Marriage- Our marriage should reflect the same relationship that Christ has with His Church (Eph 5 verse 22-23).God says that wives must submit and respect their husbands even as their husbands must respect and live considerately with their wives. Our spouses must be our best friend and we can never allow someone to grow closer to us than our spouse. With our children, we must never have unrealistic expectations towards them, knowing that they will make mistakes. This can lead our children to rebellion and resentment. They must not be expected to make sacrifices “for the sake of the ministry.”
6.) Methods-In our ministry methods we must be “rigidly righteous”. We must have no mercy on the works of the flesh. The problem of ministers whose actions don’t match their preaching goes back to what Paul said in Titus 1 verse 16: “They profess that they know God but in works they deny Him, being abominable and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.” In ministry we must also practice “absolute honesty”
in our finances and be ethical in all our ministry dealings with others, especially in any kind of fund raising. Paul mentioned in Romans 1 verse 18 that “the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who hold the truth in unrighteousness.”
7.) Manners-the definition of “manners” is to be civil, respectful, not rude or vulgar. Paul mentioned in Titus 1 verse 7-8 that a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God not self-willed, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre, but a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy and temperate.”
8.) Money- money is neither good nor evil in itself. Money is simply the medium of exchange for earthly things. But money has been the downfall of many ministers, due to abuse and wrong motives with its use. The key is that Christians can have money but money should never have a Christian. The love of money can get ministers in deep trouble (1 Tim. 6 verse 9-10). “Seek the kingdom of God and all His righteousness and all these things will be added unto you. (Matt. 6 verse 33).
9.) Morality-As we know from all the headlines over the past decade or so, there needs to be a standard raised in regards to the problem of sexual morality. Many ministers have fallen into sexual sin. The bible warns us against sexual impurity – all sexual activity outside the bond of marriage is sin in no uncertain terms (1 Cor. 6 verse 9-10, 18-20; Heb. 13 verse 4). Remember the word says that every man is tempted when he is drawn away of his own lust and enticed (James 1 verse 14). Be careful and ask the Holy Sprit to mortify the deeds of the flesh and conform you into the image of Jesus. This should be our number one prayer (Rom. 8 verse 13, 29).
10.) Motive-we should never be motivated to have an opportunity for personal glory whatsoever. Paul mentioned in 1 Cor. 3 verses 1-15 some guidelines for ministry- one can plant, one can water but it is God who gives the increase, that we are laborers together with God, that every man’s work will be manifested, etc. Paul also mentioned in 2 Cor. 5 verse 10 that we all must appear before the judgment seat of Christ to be judged of our works, which include motive. Do we minister to be seen or are we addicted to the ministry of the saints? (1 Cor. 16 verse 15)
We can see by this series on the 10 M’s of ministry that there are areas that we need improvement. We can never assume that because some of the areas that I mentioned are in “good shape” that all are in order. It may only take failure in one area to bring a ministry to a screeching halt. We need to periodically go in the presence of the Holy Spirit with this series of messages for a “check up” on our ministry traits.