Seven Reasons I Became a Minister
So they went over to him and asked:
- Who brought you here?
- What are you doing in this place?
- What is keeping you here?” (Judges 18:3, HCSB).
It is often therapeutic, directive, and beneficial to pause to reflect for a moment concerning the why behind what we do. This lesson caused me to do just that.
There are at least seven reasons why I became a minister. Read more
Discovering Ministry in the Midst of the Stuff
I’m working and writing on the premise that God speaks best through me what He has been speaking in me. God has been prodding me onward and helping me wade through some of the tough stuff in every day ministry.
A missionary associate recently discussed with me an AIMer (short-term missionary) that had arrived on the field. He/she felt bewildered and blameworthy he/she wasn’t doing actual “ministry.” It’s a repetitive regular restlessness among those in kingdom business.
In 1999 I visited one of the executives in his office at World Evangelism Center. I asked if it were possible to do ministry in the midst of his administrative responsibilities. He pointed to a large stack of files and said, “Ministry, every time I want to do ministry, there is all this work staring at me.”
Lest we think this is a phenomenon isolated to World Evangelism Center, or AIMers on the mission field, I wonder how many pastors feel the same way. I recall, after marrying my wife, Linda, receiving a letter from her pastor-Dad. He wondered if he was truly making a difference in the small church he pastored and was close to giving up and throwing in the towel. Thankfully, he faithfully pressed on. Read more
Easily Broken, Difficult to Repair
“Trust” is a wonderful word. If I trust you I am attesting I am confident about your integrity, strength, and/or ability. Trust doesn’t come easily. When lost, it is difficult-nigh to impossible- to regain. Trust is made up of interaction (getting to truly know someone) and an established track record. It is destroyed daily in small ways. A little lie, failing to follow through on something promised, or a confidence broken. Failure to walk the talk and to do what one says he will do both rank up there on the list of trust destroyers. Truth and trust are interrelated. Read more
The Indigineous Church – Part 1
Abraham Lincoln, a famous president of the United States of America, once said, “You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves.”
Once national churches have been founded and are growing, the missionary must be careful not to slow down the speedy growth of the church. Church growth and evangelism can come to a standstill when leaders become satisfied with maintaining the church organization as it is. It is necessary to understand that when referring to a “missionary,” it could mean anyone, from anywhere, including any race of people. The great commission was given to the entire church regardless of location, income level, or social status. Read more
The Ingredients of Leaders (in Developing Nations)
“Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus” (Acts 4:13).
The New Testament in Contemporary English entitled, The Message by Eugene H. Peterson tells us, “They couldn’t take their eyes off them-Peter and John standing there so confident, so sure of themselves! Their fascination deepened when they realized these two laymen had no training in Scripture or formal education. They recognized them as companions of Jesus” (Page 245).
Here stood two men, uneducated and unlearned, and a group of Jewish leaders who could not take their eyes off them, and marveled. It is time for leaders in developing nations of the world, even with their limited educational background and disadvantages of poverty and adverse situations, to stand up and take their place in leadership. There is no reason for intimidation or feeling you are lesser than leaders in developed countries. Read more
The Heavenly Vision
“…I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision.” Acts 26:19
God’s Vision for Paul
God’s vision for Paul was revealed to a disciple named Ananias in Acts 9:15, “…for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles…”
Paul explained to King Agrippa what Jesus had said to him on the road to Damascus: “But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose…and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee, to open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God…” (Acts 26:16-18) Read more
Unbreakable, Unshakable, Unity
“And all that believed were together…” (Acts 2:44).
“Now Peter and John went up together…” (Acts 3:1).
An old Arab proverb teaching the importance of unity says,“One hand alone does not clap.” No one is a whole chain. Each one is a link on the chain. No one is a whole team but each one is a player. We need each other. It has been rightfully said, “No man is an island unto himself.” We must have each other in order to survive. An Akan proverb says, “Hands go! Hands come!” We must have each other! Another proverb says, “It is the right arm that scratches the left arm.” Both of these proverbs expose our need of one another. Read more
Working Together on the King’s Team
“And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul; neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common” (Acts 4:32).
Teamwork means many people become one. They come together to work toward a common goal.
When David wanted to face the giant, he proclaimed, “Is there not a cause?” (1 Samuel 17:29). A team working together will accomplish more than if each person was working on his own (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12). When a group of people come together to form a team, each person brings his strengths and weaknesses. As we work together our strengths complement someone else’s weaknesses. We use our skills to compliment the overall effort of the team. Read more
Fathers as Family Leaders
“Then came he to Derbe and Lystra: and, behold, a certain disciple was there, named Timotheus, the son of a certain woman, which was a Jewess, and believed; but his father was a Greek.” (Acts 16:1)
“…We entered into the house of Philip, the evangelist, which was one of the seven; and abode with him. And the same man had four daughters, virgins, which did prophesy.” (Acts 21:8, 9)
Men With A Mission
The Book of Acts is the story of “Men With A Mission.” As you read through this story you quickly see how men with a mission to reach the world accomplished their vision. In the midst of mass evangelism, miracles, and the Word of God spreading to the known world, it is easy to overlook an important point. Hidden within the pages of the twenty-eight chapters of Acts, there is also the hint of “men with a mission” that did their part to be Fathers; family leaders. Read more
Mentoring: The Ministry of Multiplication
“And when Saul was come to Jerusalem, he assayed to join himself to the disciples: but they were afraid of him, and believed not that he was a disciple. But Barnabas took him, and brought him to the apostles, and declared unto them how he had seen the Lord in the way, and that he had spoken to him, and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus” (Acts 9:26-27).
Mentoring is a relationship between two people, the mentor and the one being mentored.
Long ago when the Greek warrior Odysseus went off to battle in the Trojan War, he left his young son in the hands of a man named Mentor. The father was away from his son for twenty years and when he returned home his son had grown into a man. He had been trained by Mentor. Read more