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Ministry: Make it Personal

January 18, 2016

Everyone knows the pastor has an obligation to care for the spiritual well being of the church. Not every knows that the individual members of the church have an obligation to care for each other’s spiritual well being. The Christian must not see another with a need and say someone should talk to that person. You should talk to that person. You cannot say someone else should visit, encourage or help one in need. You should visit, encourage and help. These things are the responsibilities of every member. This ministry is necessary because Jesus is returning. Because our Lord is coming soon we must edifiy one another. Edification is the process of one believer helping another to be more like Jesus. Edification is interacting with one another to strengthen each other in Christlikeness. Because Jesus is returning promote the imitation of Jesus in each other’s lives.

1 Thessalonians 5:14 tells how to edify others. “Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men.” Genuine ministry is never one size fits all. We do not treat everyone in the same fashion and respond to each person the same at all times. Ministry is not a set of memorized, cue card responses. Ministry does not take place when another struggles with a specific sin and I say a specific, preplanned verse to them. A Christian does not genuinely minister to one grieving by repeating a specific Psalm that is repeated to every other grieving person, regardless of the cause of their grief. Ministry does not match need a to verse b and pithy quote c. Ministry responds to the specific needs of the individual. Genuine ministry does not even respond to the same person in the same way each time. Ministry seeks to serve one another in their spiritual need at that time. Ministry takes place when a Christian recognizes the time to warn, the time to encourage and the time to support.

The need to minister carefully to a specific individual in a particular situation renders drive by ministry impossible. You can’t hear of a need, swing by, shoot a few poorly aimed verse in someone’s direction and race off again. Ministry is up close and personal. It is hand to hand. Ministry requires knowing the person and knowing the situation. Ministry requires listening and learning before speaking. Ministry requires patience, wisdom and compassion. Ministry requires personal investment in the lives of others.

You have been supernaturally gifted for ministry, commanded to do the work of the ministry and placed in a local church to minister. Comfort and edify one another. Be at peace with one another and live with patience toward all. Warn. Encourage. Support. In all things serve one another for their growth in Christlikeness.

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