I’m nearing the 20 year mark in my ministry. What an awesome life it has been since that first day of having the Lord Jesus Christ live within my heart; encouraging, convicting and guiding my pathway. About ten years into the ministry I adopted a verse as my life verse: 2 Corinthians 2:1-2 “But I determined this with myself, that I would not come again to you in heaviness. For if I make you sorry, who is he then that maketh me glad, but the same which is made sorry by me?”
There it was for me. The “I’m fine Theory” in black and white. I would strive to be an encourager to all I met and most of all the men and women who served God and this has been a blessing in my life. God has sent many notable preachers, teachers, soul-winners and ministers of the gospel across my path, allowing me to glean from them as I encouraged them. This is not a boast, it’s who God called me to be; and I have not always been successful at it. I have upon occasion discouraged a preacher or two, and have gotten in the flesh on more than one occasion when I’ve determined of myself that “I” was right, or I when I was hurt by a ministry person. Hey, don’t throw rocks, I’m human.
Because of previous hurts I guard my heart. I can quickly withdraw myself as an encourager if I feel that my help is not desired, fearing that it will be viewed as an interference rather than help, or if it will be rejected… that hurts worst of all. I’m highly opinionated… so occasionally my help comes with attitude; and rather than bringing shame to the name of Jesus by getting in the flesh I’ll just shut down before I say something I regret. As you can tell, there is conflict within and without this child of God.
Apostle Paul had great balance with his ability to encourage and energize his audience yet also bring awareness and conviction into their lives. The apostle Paul was a helper and a healer of the ministry. He said in 2 Corinthians 1:24 “Not for that we have dominion over your faith, but are helpers of your joy: for by faith ye stand.”
As a minister of the gospel, it’s not my job to be in charge of anyone else’s faith or position. It’s my job to help and bring joy in your life so that through faith we can stand together. To encourage you where God called you to be.
When I see Christians tearing down one another rather than encouraging and building one another up I realize why God needs people with a ministry of help… because there’s enough ministries of hindrance.
Things that hinder the ministry. I focused.
- Self-Importance(I know what’s best)
- Self-Will (I know what’s right)
- Self-Regard (I matter more)
Things that grow the ministry. God focused.
- Self-denial (God knows what’s best)
- Selfless (Other’s First)
- Self-aware (Determining my motives, is this for me? Or God?)
I speak from experience when I say that I’ve been guilty of hindering the ministry. But my hearts true desire is to grow it. So… question of the day… Do you help? Or do you hinder?