Dear pastors, missionaries, chaplains and friends,
Steve here… The Apostle Paul had been reaching out to his Jewish countrymen in the Arabian Desert and the Syrian/Seleucian territories, for over 13 years when he stepped out in faith and did something no one in the church had ever done: Paul reached out into the Gentile world. This would have taken tremendous faith.
What does it mean to model faith in ministry? Let’s briefly look at Paul’s insider-view on the subject in Romans 15.
Two key words are used in Romans 15: “minister” and “service”. The word “minister” is used in vs 16, while the word “service” is used in verses 17, 25, and 31. Each use of the word points to a key component in Paul’s faith while he ministered to unbelieving Gentiles (vv. 14-22) and believers (vv. 23-33). Pastor Rick Warren speaks of six keys to opening the door to a fruitful ministry, as follows:
In vv. 15-16, we discover the first key to having a faith-filled ministry.
1. An effective ministry is based on God’s grace
God uses us despite ourselves. Paul had been an enemy of the church and God chose to make him an instrument of grace.
2. An effective ministry is built on God’s Word (Romans 15:16)
The Bible is our guide book, compass, and procedure manual for both faith and ministry.
3. An effective ministry is to be done for God’s glory (Romans 15:17-18).
God does everything. It’s not about me; God ministers through me. Be careful to give God the glory.
4. An effective ministry is done in God’s power (Romans 15:19).
Paul stepped out in confident faith during his missionary journeys because he knew he had a limitless source of power at his disposal. God would rather use weaklings than the proud to accomplish His will.
5. An effective ministry is planned according to God’s purpose (Romans 15:20-24).
Paul writes, “It has always been my ambition…”; is it okay to have ambition? Paul did and we better have it too. Our ambition is to accomplish God’s purposes. What a waste to miss this in life. Paul wanted his life to count, which caused him to continually step out in faith.
6. An effective ministry is backed by prayer (Romans 15:30-31).
Paul asks us to join in prayer together, because together we make a symphony. When we all play our part in believing faith, we experience a fruitful ministry.
These six keys open the door to a far greater fruitful and fulfilling ministry.
Have a blessed week,