True pastoral calling and ministry (3)
By Dr. Francis Akin-John
Growing to their full Potentials Effective ministers grows person-ally, spiritually and profession-ally.
- Transformed and changed lives.
Changed lives and destinies are the hallmark of effective mini-stries.
- Raising people for their mini-stries.
Effective pastors coach and mentor people for ministries in the local church and in the world. Effective pastors have Timothys’ and Titus in ministry.
- Raise a godly family.
Your family is your first ministry. Effective ministry always starts at home. If it doesn’t work at home, it will not work anywhere else.
To be an effective minister is to be able, capable and competent. It is to be an able minister of the New Testament. II Cor. 6:3-10. He is someone who had been with Jesus. Mark 3:13-14: grow into Christ-likeness. Heb. 7:26 and maintains a vital relationship with Christ.
Permit me to examine the factors that will greatly help you to become an able minister of the New Testament so as to achieve ministerial success.
- The Making of an Effective Minister (II Cor. 3:6; Mal. 3:3).
First and foremost, you cannot become an effective minister if God did not make you. If God did not make you, you can’t make anybody. The making of God is a process, not a programme. God makes His ministers in slow-cooker, not in a microwave oven. You must be in the furnace of God -Malachi 3:3. You must be clay in the Potter’s hand Isaiah 64:8;
Jer. 18:1-6. Surrendered and pliable in His hand. God makes his ministers through the follow-ings:
* Test and trials -Deut. 8:1-3.
* Responsibilities and Opportu-nities
* Problems and Crisis
* Serving in secret and unre-cognised
* Suffering and wants – I Pet. 5:10
* Dissapointments and failures
* Faithfulness and fruitfulness in little
* Divine timing Hab. 2:1-3.
God makes us by first bringing us to Himself – You are saved, growing, allowing trials to come our way and He keeps making us until we die -Phil. 1:6. He wants to make us into real manhood. I Tim. 2:5; John 1:6. God makes a man before manifesting mighty ministry. The man is more im-portant than the ministry, position and performance. Jesus manhood was made for 30 years and His ministry 31/2 years. Ratio 10:1. A growing ministry means a grow-ing man. If you are not a God-made, God-moulded and God- sharpened man, you cannot go far in this ministry. You must allow God to continually mould, re-mould and re-make you if you really want ministerial success. God must continue to form and fashion you. If you are going to be an effective minister.
- The Motive of the Effective Minister (Matt. 6:1)
You cannot be an effective minister if your motive is wrong. God weighs the heart and cross-check our motives. Pro. 16:2. Why do you want to be a minister? To serve or to be seen? Fulfil personal drive or God’s desire? What is your true motivation? To minister or to be ministered to? To herald the truth or just to be heard by man? Are you motivated by God’s love or lust for power, fame and name?
Motive can be described as the reason why you are doing what you are doing. It can be right or wrong. Wrong motives of being a minister and being in the ministry are: Seeking for fame; Financial lucre; Respect and honour; Self-importance and Self-worth and to Prove a point to others. Once you have any of these motives, you cannot really become an able minister.
Right motives of being a minister are: the clear call of the Lord; readiness to serve; doing the will of the Lord; fulfilling your pur-pose; desire to add value to others and contributing your own quota to Kingdom expansion. I Cor. 16: 15.
It is your motive that will conti-nually motivate you. It is your mo-tive that will determine whether God will be with you or not . It is your motive that will determine your reward with God. Check and re-check your motives to see that they are the right ones.
- Mandate for Ministry of the Effective Minister. Matt. 28:19-20; Acts.1:8; I Cor. 7:20.
No one can become an effective minister without a clear mandate from the Lord. There can be no ministry without a clear mandate. While the general and non-negotiable mandate is to preach the gospel, yet God must give you area to preach. You must preach the gospel according to youth, marriage, raising leaders, reach-ing gentiles, Jews, women, men, rich, poor or widows or church planting and missions.
It is your mandate that will be-come your ministry. (Col. 4:17; Acts. 20:20; II Cor. 4:1; II Tim. 4:5.) Ministry is a vision, objective and divine assignment. It is given by the Lord to individuals. There are ministries in every church, but there is no church in every mini-stry. If you are called and gifted as an evangelist, teacher, prophet, pastor, apostle,singer or inter-cessor, stay in that calling and ministry. We are:
Saved for ministry
Called for ministry
Commended for ministry
Authorised for ministry
Anointed for ministry
Gifted for ministry
Rewaded for ministry
Your ministry must be productive, proven, pure and positive. Your ministry must lead to transformations. Tranformations of lives, homes, destinies, communities and cities are the hallmark of effective ministries. Make sure you receive your mandate from God, not from men, circumstances and wrong motives.
- Message of the Effective Minister Eph. 4:15; II Tim. 4:2; II Cor. 13:8.
There can be no message without a messenger. Every good messenger must have a clear message from the Lord. II Sam. 18:19-30. Don’t run without a clear message from the Lord. Every able minister must run with the true message of the gospel. No matter what we preach, it must revolve around the truth of the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Live the truth of the gospel
Stand in truth of the gospel
Stand for truth of the gospel
Defend the truth of the gospel
Preach a balanced, scriptural, doctrinally sound and relevant gospel of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Don’t preach only one-line-of truth,but a wholesome gospel. You may start on one line of truth, but grow to preach the whole truth of God’s word. You may start with faith, finances and grace, but balanced it with godliness, faithfulness and purity as time goes by.Ministers with only one line of truth don’t usually last long. It’s either they move into error or they are ruined by scandals. II TIm. 2:15-19. God will confirm His word,not your theories. Mark 16:20.
- The Magnet of the Effective Minister Ecc.9:8; Acts.10:38; Ps. 92:10;
Every effective minister must have magnet in their lives. This speaks of the presence and power of the Lord in your life. The anointing of the Holy Spirit that draws people into your life and ministry. The Charisma of God that produce results. The workings of the Lord in you and through you that produce unmistakable and undeniable results. Acts. 2:22. This
magnet will be the seal of God’s approval over your life and ministry.
Check the following:
The supernatural power of God must flow through you.
It is the working of God in you that will attract men and money
It is the results you produce that will hasten your credibility.
An effective minister must key into God’s power through fresh baptism of the Holy Spirit, fastings, prayers, holy living and dedication to God, so as to be true channel of His unlimited power. Matt. 17:21; Roms. 8:26.
- Mentality of the Effective Minister Heb. 11:6; Luk. 1:37; Romans 4:17-21.
Effective ministers must be men and women of possibility thinking faith. They must have positive outlook. They must possess the mentality that nothing is impossible with God. They must reject negative mindset of doubt, fear, worry, anxiety and unbelief.
Acts. 27:22-25. Positive mentality and mindset results in strong faith that:
- Sees the invisible
- Rejects the contrary words of men
- Refuses to walk by sight
- Hopes in the love and faithfulness of God
- Believes that todays problem will lead to future praise
- Confess his victory over satan and circumstances
- Sees God as greater than his situations.
An effective minister maintain positive outlook in a negative world. To an effective minister, faith must drive out fear, lest fear drive out faith from the heart. Faith in God, the word of God, faithfulness, goodness and love of God is strong in the heart of an effective minister.
- The Maturity of the Effective Minister James 3:17; I Cor. 13; Galatians 5:22-26
No one can truly be an effective minister without displaying high degree of maturity in his life and ministry. Maturity doesn’t answer to age, experience, class, status or position. It answer only to personal growth and development.
Maturity is the ability to do what is right, irrespective of how you feel. It is having the right attitude, mature in human relations and displaying heavenly wisdom. It manifests as fruits of the Spirit, Christ-like character, being dependable, steadfast, responsible and
consistency. Heb. 14; I Cor. 14:20.
Maturity means: You are free from childishness and babyhood
Freedom from pettiness and narrowmindedness
Carnality, frivolity and unseriousness are gone
Having the ability to face and solve problems
Possessing a large heart and deep understanding
Self-control,emotionally stable and trustworthy
Knowledgeable, broadminded and accomodating.
Maturing effective ministers do not have ‘destination disease’- the feeling of having ‘arrived’ and no more, rather, they keep learning, improving, preparing and building strong character everyday. Maturing ministers embark on life-long journey of personal growth and development. Your maturity and depth will be that of your ministry.
- The Morality of the Effective Minister I Cor.6:9-18; Matt. 5:28; Pro. 6:25.