Building a Ministry
“Minister” comes from the same Greek word as “deacon.” Both of these words simply means “one who serves.” In other words, saying that someone is a “minister” is the same thing as saying that they are a servant (or a deacon). I, for example, am the preaching minister (servant) at Shoals church of Christ in Tuscumbia, Al. Before that, I was the youth minister. This is just another way of saying that I was the spiritual servant of the youth.
A “ministry” is simply a fancy way of saying that something is a program that serves a particular spiritual need. The following 3 points are some fundamental ideas and truths that surround having a healthy ministry. It is my prayer that by reading this that you may see how the ministry you are involved with will grow. We are all part of the greatest ministry of all. Let’s all do our part to help it come alive!
When speaking of “building” something, it is not unusual to first think about its foundation. When one thinks about the parable of the wise and foolish men, it is not hard to think about why it was foolish for the man to build a house on sand. To throw a building on a place without foundation is to make that building temporal.
A Christian, for example, could look at a trailer in this day and age and think about how dangerous that trailer would be to live in if a twister were to come. That same Christian would look at a storm-pit or a basement and see how it is safe and grounded because of its reliable foundation. Everything that requires building also requires a reliable foundation if it is meant to last.
Jesus is that foundation and that rock on which lives and ministries must be built in order to last the storms and corruption of life. Jesus is the cornerstone of the church and everything that stems from the church. In Ephesians and 1st Peter, it is said that Christians are being built upon this cornerstone into a house of God. Although Christians have error, they are perfected by the cornerstone that is Christ; the perfect stone by which all other stones are compared. Jesus must be the focus and foundation while building a ministry. Everything is vain if we do not have this foundation.
It is interesting to note that the word “edify” actually means to “build up” one another. The ministry should not only have Christ as its cornerstone, but it should also have every individual build every other individual up through relationship and encouragement. This is how the ministry will grow. Every individual who is built on the foundation of Christ, must do all they can to become knit together with all the other individuals. The congregation must stir one another up in love and good works. This is our purpose as the church; to build relationships founded on Christ.
Probably one of the hardest parts of building a ministry would be to continue building it up. Having the right foundation and relationship is hard enough, but maintaining these two ingredients through thick and thin would be even harder.
In Hebrews, it is said that there were those who forsook the assembly. These people left the relationship and the foundation because of doubt, persecution, or selfishness. Revelation can be summed up “those who overcome get to come over.” Prayer, trust, and endurance are all essentials for the continuation of the ministry at hand. We must endure hardships and watch as God turns tragedy into triumph. Christians must make Jesus the author and finisher of their faith, they must help one another do the same thing, and they must encourage each other; asking God to give endurance. This is how a ministry is built to be everlasting! – Jesse