Mt 20:25 But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that
the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are
great exercise authority upon them. 26 But it shall not be so among you:
but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; 27 And whosoever
will be chief among you, let him be your servant: 28 Even as the Son of man
came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom
We know that the word minister denotes one who serves - rather than an overlord. Here are some helpful tips on a certain way to serve the brethren in one regard ... that of promoting personal evangelism.
How a COG pastor can ENABLE his flock
When a Church of God pastor supports a ministry of its members, he is exponentially multiplying the outreach of God's ministry in the world. You see, church members are in an ideal position to minister to the world. For when they go to work, help out strangers, talk with neighbors, volunteer in their community... they are already doing the things their God-given talents have best prepared them to do. Each of us is instructed by the word to show the love of Christ dwelling in each of us. What is the sign of true followers of Christ? That we show love one for another. We must be conscious of preaching in deed, as well as word, as we approach the world with the gospel. Let The Light Of God Shine Within You.
What should a supportive pastor be doing to ENABLE the church:
* Encouraging. Teach them to not deny Christ when with others outside the church. Truly believe that the church is to minister in the world. The Church is its members ... the Church is not only its stewards or ministers but the true church is made up wholly of the brethren. They have been called to speak about the coming Kingdom of God ( and to live their lives as examples ) not just render tithes.
* Nourish. Read from the bible. The Word of God should be Daily Bread to a New Testmament Christian. Make sure the word you preach and the worship they experience each Sabbath Day will nourish them for the week ahead.
* Affirm that their evangelizing by both word and example is important to God . They have been raised in a church that told them only ordained ministers were to preach. Let them know that their personal ministry matters to God and that, more importantly, that their actions are louder than their words. People would resond to a sermon they SEE with their eyes before one they just HEARD with their ears. Affirm them to exhibit the fruit of the spirit (peace, joy, patience, self-control, etc.)- for it is the fruit which contains the seed which you are desiring to sow. Be sure to affirm continuously. Little things that we do can prompt questions and it is much easier for some people to talk about God when the other party makes the initial inquiry of you. Just eating a meal with people outside the church can open up opportunities to turn the conversation to God (...like when you ask if the meatballs are made of all beef or a beef-pork mix and those with you ask why you don't eat pork.).
* Be patient. It will take time for some of them to recognize their ministry talents. After all, being a passive pew sitter is safe and comfortable. How is that any different from the world's religions? Extending God's ministry from the fellowship groups and churches to overflow into the workplace is somewhat scary to most. Many have been treating Sabbath and services like a fast food drive-thru or a "McChurch" (you know, let me get 3 hymns, an opening prayer, and a Super-sized sermon to go, please ) and directly after services seem to slide right back into talking of the world. It will take time and loving reminders to keep them focused on God. Don't let their spirit be quenched...stoke their love for God as a fire.
* Listen. God gave you one mouth but intentionally gave you two ears - maybe this shows we should listen twice as much as we talk? Ask your members to tell you what they do in their daily routines. Once they believe that you are truly interested, they will tell you. You may spot some opportunities to speak of the kingdom and salvation that the member can focus on.
* Equip them. Have them put on the whole armour of God through intimate prayer to the Father and daily scripture reading. Together with them find the ways they can best carry the Gospel into the world. Help them to establish the connections between their Sabbath behavior and being a light the rest of the week. Give them understanding that they may only be planting seeds...and they may not immediately see the fruits of their labors so they should not be discouraged if people don't instantly repent ( how long did you hear about the Truth before you repented?) Again, emphasize that their actions speak louder than words- Equip them to be DOERS of the Word rather than just hearers and the love that is in them will shine brightly outward into a world of darkness.
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Love to you in Christ ~ Kenneth M. Hoeck
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©1998 Truth On The Web Ministries: All the articles originated by Kenneth Hoeck or Brian Hoeck may be freely distributed or mirrored as long as presented in there entirety, attributed to Truth on The Web, and that proper author credit is given.