Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. John 14:21
How Should We Do Ministry
Imitating Christ in Our Ministry
The Slaves-of God are called to imitate Christ when it comes to ministry. See 1 Corinthians 11:1. The question then is what was our Lord’s approach to his earthly ministry?
What are Not Acceptable Ministry Practices?
Perhaps the easier question is to first look at ways and methods our Lord specifically rejected when it came to ministry.
In Luke 4:1-13, the Lord is tempted in every way by Satan before he began his earthly ministry, but Jesus only tells us about three of the temptations. These temptations test Jesus on a personal level; on his relationship with God the Father; and on how Jesus would conduct his earthly ministry. We will focus on the latter.
1. Bribes – Jesus rejected the first temptation, to turn stones into bread. On a ministry level, Jesus rejected the temptation to give people “stuff,” that is to bribe them into following him. Bribes include: bread, rice, money, and so on. This means that Jesus rejected ministries such as the Prosperity Gospel and the Name It and Claim It ministries, which promise to give people wealth in exchange for their participation in the ministry. Let us be specific. The Lord Jesus rejected: positive confessions, faith contracts, visualization, and the like.
2. Worldly Power – Jesus rejected the second temptation, to bow to Satan and to use the resources of the world to further his Kingdom. On a ministry level, Jesus rejected the temptation in ministry to compromise with the world (Satan) and to use worldly ways and the governments of this world for “godly purposes.”
[Just think if Jesus had given into the second temptation, he could have created a world-wide government (Caliphate), instituted the Law of Moses (Shari compliant laws) everywhere, and excluded unbelievers (kafir) from business and government. All of the armies of the world would be his missionaries (jihadis).]
This means that Jesus rejected any ministry that uses political power to further its mission, whether that be the Roman Catholic Church, or Protestant churches grounded in Dominion or Reconstruction type Theology. Again to be specific, Jesus rejected: the creation of a Christian political power, Christian leaders delivering Ohio and Florida to the Republican Party in the 2000 Election, and political endorsements from the pulpit, to name a few.
3. Miracles and Entertainment – Jesus rejected the third temptation, to use the miracle of jumping off the pinnacle of the Temple and being rescued by angles in front of all the people in order to be declared the Messiah by the High Priests and those in attendance. Jesus rejected the use of miracles as a way to get people to follow him. This means Jesus rejected any ministry that is “focused” on Signs and Wonders, that is charismatic gifts. It also means that Jesus rejected any ministry that is “focused” on entertaining people. For example, Hollywood-type, mega-church worship productions may fall into this category if their worship service goes from glorifying God to mostly entertaining the people in attendance.
What are Acceptable Ministry Practices?
Luke Chapter 10 is instructive on what Jesus commands in ministry practices.
Jesus sent out 72 disciples, two by two, without a purse or bag or sandals. They were not to worry about how they would live. Instead God took care of them through the hospitality of the local people they stayed with. The 72 were not to try to improve their situation on the mission field, but to minister faithfully wherever God led them. The job of the 72 was simply to preach the Word, to heal, to cast out demons, and in faith, to rely on the Lord for everything else. These are the acceptable ministry practices.