A minister without the “title”

For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister.” (Hebrews 6:10 – NKJV)

God isn’t impressed with titles. Titles bring responsibility (James 3:1) but they don’t get the work finished.

People crave titles but God wants us to crave His work (Titus 2:14, 3:8; Galatians 4:18; 1 Timothy 3:1; Ephesians 2:10; Matthew 5:16).

Liberals love to praise people who have pushed the envelope for titles for they equate titles with “equality” in the church. God praises people who work in His name and in His will, for He equates equality with being in Jesus and working within the bounds of the body of Christ (Galatians 3:26-29; 1 Corinthians 12:12-13:3).

Conservatives love to praise people who have held firm to tradition for they equate tradition alone with working God’s will. God praises people who work within the tradition of the church’s faith through love, for God refuses to accept service done in His name if it’s not done in His will (Galatians 5:5-6; Romans 12:1-3).

Let’s stick to the middle of the road (or the middle of the channel) and start showing more of a concern for rowing the boat instead of where we sit in the boat. An oar moving in unison with another oar will get much more done than an oar trying to go solo not matter how big the solo oar thinks it is.

I may have gotten a little off track with the last three comments, but then again maybe not; either way let me bring it back to my original sentence: If we’re waiting around for a title to make our work have some sort of significance in the sight of man or in the sight of God then we’re not ready for that work – whatever the work is!

And by the way, try looking up what the word “minister” actually means if you don’t already know and you might get what I’m trying to say.

But you, do not be called ‘Rabbi’; for One is your Teacher, the Christ, and you are all brethren. Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. And do not be called teachers; for One is your Teacher, the Christ. But he who is greatest among you shall be your servant. And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” (Matthew 23:8-12 – NKJV)

#christianity, #ego, #humility, #minister, #religion, #servant, #the-errors-of-division-within-the-church, #title, #work

Planted Memories

Walking through one of the hospitals in Savannah, Georgia, I am thinking about my experiences here. I have been in the area for more than a decade and during that time I have been to this hospital countless times.

As I walk and think, I realize that I have memories planted throughout the building. Some are happy and others bring sadness to my heart.

  • I spent five days in that room after surgery.
  • Here, I watched a brother in Christ hold his baby for the first time.
  • Over here, the parent of a sister in Christ passed away.
  • Back there, I sat and prayed with a family while a loved one was in surgery.
  • At that table, I had lunch with a fellow preacher.
  • There, I sat for six hours with parents terrified about their child’s brain surgery.
  • In that room, I sat with my wife and prayed that she would get well.
  • There, I visited with a man who refused prayer on his behalf.

The memories proliferate, vivid and lasting. I carry them with me as markers on the path of ministry. Being with people when they are hurting, vulnerable and needy, you solidify bonds that will not grow elsewhere. You hurt for them and you are glad you are there to feel useful to their lives.

God becomes very real when we feel helpless. In that respect, hospitals know God intimately.

When we walk there, we see glimpses of Him in the tears, the pleadings and the hugs of jubilant families. If only everyone could and would realize that only the Great Physician offers the healing that will never fail (Psalm 107:20).

#hospital, #minister, #ministry, #prayer, #preacher