THE BLUEPRINT FOR MINISTRY
First Thessalonians chapter 2 is all about how to do ministry. It seems much of the church has skipped this teaching, but I’m going to break it down for you so you get what Jesus, through Paul, is saying.
In verse 2, Paul says to preach the good news of the gospel courageously, even in the face of persecution. Listen, you need to be a wimp-free Christian in these final days. No limp wrists here!
He then says to avoid impure motives and trickery (v. 3) and preaching to please people (v.4). Look, you don’t need a sly agenda to talk about Jesus. Just be you and be real. Don’t think you’re going to win everybody over when you preach truth, because you won’t. Your motive should be to please God (v.4) and not to receive praise from men (v.6). You’re not going to receive accolades from mobs because you walk the walk.
Verse 5 says to avoid using flattery and do not be greedy. Verse 7 says do not be a burden and be gentle. That means whatever the problem is, it isn’t you.
Verse 7 also says to minister with great love, then minister with hard work (v.9), which is a great word for the Church. We are also to minister with holiness (v.10) and then, verse 11 says to encourage, comfort, and urge people to love God. When you encourage someone, you’re literally removing fear. After that, you comfort them – you literally bring the Holy Spirit (the Comforter) into their life.
To urge somebody literally means to “charge” them. You hold them to something. Instead of telling someone how sorry they are because of their behavior, tell them they’re better than that. Urge them to walk in the thing God actually has for them.
Now, that’s how ministry is done, and it works. It really does. It will work with your family, your friends, your co-workers and even strangers. This is the blueprint left by the Master and His apprentice, so be an apprentice and dive into ministry.
For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory. – 1 Thessalonians 2:11-12
FROM MY SERMON SERIES FIRST THINGS
TODAY’S PROPHETIC THOUGHT
I may have gone to the Father, but I did not leave you as an orphan. My Spirit is in you and My blueprint is in My book. You have all you need to bring the lost into the Kingdom. Now, go! I’m trusting in you.