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Archive for the ‘ministry success’ Category

It’s Sunday Morning.  I know sometimes ministry is not easy.  So here’s another little motivation from the Word of God for preachers before you enter your pulpit and teachers before you go in to instruct your class.

1 Timothy 2:5-7 states:

For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave Himself as a ransom for all, the testimony given at the proper time. 7 For this I was appointed a preacher and an apostle (I am telling the truth, I am not lying) as a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.

Here’s a question for mediation based upon the passage:

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no-compromise-by-charles-spurgeon

Charles H. Spurgeon. No Compromise.  Pensacola, FL: Chapel Library, September 5th, 2014. 24 pp.

This is a sermon by Charles Spurgeon that he preached based upon Genesis 24:5-8.  Spurgeon preached this on October 7, 1888 which would have been around the infamous time of the “Downgrade controversy” in which some of the churches in the Baptist Union that Spurgeon was a part of started watering down the Gospel.  I read this book during a time that I needed to be encouraged while taking a stand on an issue that made others heated.  Knowing Spurgeon’s own battle and that he delivered this sermon during the midst of that time really ministered to me.

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too-big-to-fail

I begin first with an analogy from the physical realm.  There’s a business idea out there that some businesses out there are “too big to fail.”  There’s even an investopedia definition of this economic term:

Too big to fail” is the idea that specific businesses, such as the biggest banks, are so vital to the U.S. economy that it would be disastrous if they went bankrupt. The government would provide bailouts to protect creditors against losses and enable managers to retain their high wages and bonuses.

Of course the idea of “too big to fail” is a dangerous mentality for those in the leadership of these big businesses, because there is less incentive for them to do the right thing and more incentive to take irrational risks because there’s always a safety net of the American tax payer.  In the end we pay for these business mistakes instead of the businesses and the business leaders.

This leads to a corollary that there are some people who are “too big to jail.”  For instance, recently Green Party’s candidate Jill Stein have pointed out how Hillary was ‘too big to jail’ in email case.  This isn’t just with Hillary Clinton, its been true with other federal government bureaucrats too.

I believe many Christians believe there’s something wrong with the mentality of “too big to fail” and “too big to jail” in the examples mentioned.  But when it comes to the spiritual realm of Christians, some have adopted the very mentality that they reject in other sphere.

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Note: This is my rough notes from my Kindle.  I shared this because today there are so many unbiblical ideas of what is “success” in the ministry.  This sermon is by a professor at The Master’s Seminary.

Nathan Busenitz

Nathan Busenitz’ Shepherd’s Conference: What does it mean to be successful?

2 Timothy 4

How do you measure success in ministry?  For the last two hundreds years it’s been about numbers…how many attending, how much offering, etc.  But is that how the Word of God measure success?

We must remember success isn’t necessarily a bad word.

Look at Hebrews 11:35; there are suffering.  From the world’s perspective they can hardly be consider successful since successful people don’t get mocking, imprisonment, etc.  If success is measured by prestige and popularity then these men were not successful.  But if success is measured by faithfulness then they were successful.  Many of our heroes of the faith were ridiculed and persecuted from the Bible and history.

Look at Jonah and Jeremiah and the stark contrast.  Jonah had numbers, Jeremiah didn’t but it was Jeremiah was more faithful.

2 Timothy 4 was written by Paul in the last leg of his life and ministry.  It was written to Timothy, a young man who was just beginning his ministry and he needed to be reminded of what is biblica ministry’s success.

Whether you are at the beginning or end of ministry, the principles articulated in this passage applies to all ministers this side of heaven.

Purpose: Three contrasts between worldly versus biblical success.

  1. A contrast in the motivation for service (v.1-5)
  2. A contrast in the measure of success (v.6-8)
  3. A contrast in the mindest about suffering (v.9-15)

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