Everybody has a philosophy. I mean everybody. Even if you don’t know what it is you have one. It is my privilege to teach Introduction to Philosophy to Freshman and Sophomore students at my local community college. They in the main really do not know what their philosophy is either. My purpose is to cajole, excoriate, pummel, draw out, and otherwise cause uncritical thinkers into a process of self-examination. Why do I believe what I believe? Why do I do what I do? For many it is a painful ordeal. For others it is a revelation, an epiphany. It fills the heart of this teacher with joy when one “finally gets it.” In the process, I might be able to witness for the Savior to
For many, the following is just old hack. It defines for you the reader the culmination of the process I started many years ago. It is currently incomplete – I really do not expect it to be done in this lifetime. It is however fairly consistent (I think). I am talking about of course “My Philosophy of Ministry.” You have one too. Are you able to conceptualize it and communicate it so that others will understand? I am hoping that at the end of mine, you will be able to “think it through.” I hope that you are not just going “through the motions” by merely imitating what others around you are doing without knowing that “something” to prove your work. Maybe my drawing mine for you will be of help to you.
“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.” Deuteronomy 6:4-7
My philosophy of ministry is centered around the three priorities as I see them outlined from this primary scripture, the Shema: to serve God and to love Him with all my heart, mind, and soul – He is first in all of my endeavors, so that my worship and service is first and foremost primarily toward Him and Him alone – for He alone is worthy to be praised and worshiped with all of my being!; to serve the body of Christ, my brothers and sisters, diligently teaching them about Christ, His Word, and His precepts for this life and the one to come and thus fulfill the commandment of Christ in my love toward them: “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” – John 15:12; my third priority is to help reach people for Christ and fulfill the Great Commission, being that signpost for all to see that God lives in me: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” – Matthew 28:19-20.
The basic purpose of the church and of service then is to equip the body of Christ, to help members find that service and ministry God has given them, and to help enable and magnify this personal ministry so that each believer can bring glory to Christ Jesus, and to increase the Kingdom of God to the best of their abilities. These ministries of individual Christians, used in cooperation with fellow believers, will worship and glorify God; embolden, enrich, and unify the church; and be an outreach to people who are in need of Christ.
For that end, my ministry of teaching, preaching, and exhortation will instruct and bring into focus the content of the Word of God. From this I (with the empowerment of the Holy Spirit) will build a bridge of application into the lives of people who live today. My goal is to allow the Spirit of God to move through me, so that His message to His people can be received, and be responded to by them. My preaching style is largely expository, allowing the Word to shape the topic; always being conscious of the primary needs of the congregation at the time as the Spirit of God has lead me to understand them. I also preach topically, especially in the area of marriage enrichment, raising children, personal soul-winning, Christian discipleship, and any other area that the Spirit leads me to help the church discover His eternal truth for their lives today.
My ministry has also been utilized in helping shape and enable ministry staff, be they paid or volunteer. Through personal action and personal accountability, I encourage staff to allow Christ “to be all that HE can be” in their lives and ministries.
I am motivated to see individual Christians grow in maturity, for the church to grow in spirit, fellowship, and increased attendance and participation from all of her ministers. I believe that the Church is a body which any member should not be taken for granted or be left to feel unimportant. From this foundation, I know that the church will then be prepared for vibrant missions’ participation, taking the message of the Great Commission from their own communities to the world. Because of this, I am motivated to enlist and encourage all members of the church to be a vibrant part of their community—sharing outwardly and openly the gospel of Jesus Christ that can change lives, communities, nations, and the world.