There are many discussions in the religious community about what ‘effective ministry’ looks like and does not look like. A number of these, particuarly the ones that put effective practice and fruitfulness in direct correllation to each other – can be destructive in some contexts.
We lose sight of Faith and Obedience to God, and trade it for a much more worldly approach, somewhat dressed in religious robes that stink of self-effort, self-righteousness and humanistic policies.
The ‘fountaining of ministry’, is what Paul talks about in various places in scripture (not using that word of course, as it’s made up), and refers to it using words such as, works, deeds, and actions.
James 2:17-18, “So too, faith by itself, if it is not complemented by action, is dead. But someone will say, “You have faith and I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. “
What Ministry is not…
This model of ministry cannot exist as separate components, and it cannot exist in a reverse order.
You can’t just do ministry, without a Daily Walk of Faith, because then your deeds become actions of Social Justice or actions ‘without love’ , outside of the life of Christ.
1 Corinthians 13:1-3, “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a ringing gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have absolute faith so as to move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and exult in the surrender of my body,a but have not love, I gain nothing.”
You can’t have a Daily Walk of Faith and there be no fountaining of ministry – works, deeds, actions. You can’t be neutral, you can’t be stagnant or frozen in your ministry – daily walk of faith in God through Jesus does not result in barreness of life. (Rest is different – and there are times when God asks us to be still before Him, and rest in Him).
John 15:4, “Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.”
A Daily Walk of Faith that remains in Christ is the greatest most precious source of ministry. This ministry is sweet. This ministry is delightful, and like no other. Although it can be hard, and we feel pressed on every side, sometimes tempted to give up, we choose to press on for the Glory of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. A glass of water, a bed to sleep in, fuel for the car that is given in the name of Jesus, is far more powerful and transformative that one that is given in my own strength, according to my own determination of whether a person is in need or deserving of such a gift.
There is a sense of freedom and relief of burden, because it’s not me that changes and transforms lives – it is Christ in whom I live, and through Christ who lives in me, “in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” Colossians 2: 3.
May you be encouraged.