Here’s what comes to my mind: A big church. A band. Lots of people. Praise music. People having a good time.
Here’s what doesn’t come to mind: Sacrifice. Suffering. Spiritual attack. Ridicule. Or reaching out to others when it costs everything I have.
Yet think of it. That was Jesus’s experience of ministry. Sure, He had some good times. Fellowship. Relationships. Alone time with His Father. But so much of His ministry was plain and simple service. Dying to Himself to do the Father’s will.
I don’t know about you. But that’s not my idea of ministry. Or maybe it is in an idealistic, theoretical sense, but in practice? I want the fun ministry. The one everyone loves. The one that enriches my life. The one that requires very little sacrifice.
A Biblical View of Ministry
So when I started looking through the Bible for the answers to my own ministry problems, I was blown away by what the Bible had to say. Here it is in a nutshell: ministry is service.
The noun form of the Greek word for ministry (diakonia) is usually translated ministry, but the verb form (diakoneo) is almost always translated serve and the one who does ministry (diakonos) is a servant even though it’s often translated minister.
Listen to the Strong’s definition of diakonos: one who executes the commands of another, esp. of a master, a servant, attendant, minister. a) the servant of a king, b) a deacon, c) a waiter, one who serves food and drink.
Since waiter and deacon don’t really apply to most of our ministries, we can assume that a) is the definition for us.
A Servant of the King
So what does this look like in our own ministries? Simple. When we “do ministry” it’s an act of service to our King.
Not an act to make us look good. Not an act to give us a fun, exciting life. Not an act to build up our bank accounts so we can have a secure retirement. And not an act to turn us into good Christians.
It’s an act of service to the King – we serve Him by serving others.
When we look at it that way, we don’t need a huge blog, a big, popular Bible study, or a big church to be successful.
Because it’s not about success – it’s about doing the Father’s will.
Journal Activity: Think of your own ministry or blog. Is there anything God wants you to do that you haven’t been doing? Is there anything you’ve been doing that God doesn’t want you to do?
Question: How would your ministry and/or blogging experience change if you were to ask, “What does the King want me to write (or do) today?” rather than “What are these guys expecting me to do?” or “What will get the most people to come to my blog or ministry” or “What will make the least amount of people mad?”