7 Principles for Effective Ministry
2 Corinthians 3:2-3, 4-5 Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men: Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart. Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God; Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.
Every believer has a ministry. We operate in the ministry not in our sufficiency (verse 4), our own strength and ability, but we are empowered by God to minister in the Spirit (verse 5). New Testament ministry is not in human ability, and does not dwell on great words, but on the power of the Spirit. So we will look at some of the qualities of ministry in the Spirit, and apply to our lives, so that we may conduct effective ministry.
Moved by Fruits not Men’s Approval
Ministry of the Spirit focuses on producing fruits not becoming reputable or gaining popularity. Fruitfulness is the measure of an effective ministry. Popularity and approval among people do not equate ministry effectiveness. Paul told the Corinth that he did not need letters of commendation to attest of his ministry among them, but that their lives are epistles written by the Spirit of God providing the commendation for the ministry. God is glorified when we bear fruits (John 15:8). Winning souls and developing them in the faith are the true success of ministry.
Fruitfulness is the measure of an effective ministry
Claim Sufficiency in Christ
Effective ministry flows out of the life of those who recognize and acknowledge that only God can enable us to do the work of ministry. This includes realizing that effective ministry is not based on our own works. Believers should pray, fast, and work their best to advance God’s work, but not depend on their ability to pray, fast, and work to be effective. We are effective because of God’s working through us. We must plant and water, but only God can give the increase.
Speak Plainly Due to Christ’s Glory
2 Corinthians 3:12-13 Seeing then that we have such hope, we use great plainness of speech: 13And not as Moses, which put a vail over his face, that the children of Israel could not stedfastly look to the end of that which is abolished.
Ministry in the Spirit is glorious. Moses had a veil over his face hiding the glory of God that was shining on his face. Jesus took away that veil thought the cross of Christ. Therefore, we minister plainly. We have nothing to hide. We speak the gospel of Christ clearly highlighting both the holy demands of God, and the power of the gospel to bring humankind in right relationship with God. Doing ministry in the Spirit means we can clearly state the tenets of the gospel - his grace and love, as well as God’s judgement and wrath on those who do not believe. Using eloquent words to hide the plain sense of the gospel and the word of God is not effective in the kingdom of God. We speak the gospel and the word of God plainly by the power of the Spirit.
Operate by Grace
2 Corinthians 4:1 Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not.
We must always remember that the ministry we have been given is out of God’s kindness and mercy. We are not given a ministry because we are qualified for it, but because God is his mercy have made us a part of His plan.
We Faint Not
We do not give up in doing God’s work because we recognize that it is God’s gift given to us. We are not deserving of it. We take full advantage of this grace, knowing that we were not qualified. We serve him because we love Him; we serve in appreciation of His great love and kindness towards us. So we never give up.
We serve him because we love Him; we serve in appreciation of His great love and kindness towards us. So we never give up.
2 Corinthians 4:16 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.
Therefore we may experience many afflictions and attacks in the ministry, but we do not faint. We realize that God’s power is operating through frail vessels. The power is not in ourselves but God’s power works through our weaknesses. So we do not give up. We recognize that God’s power will operate through us even in our weakness and affliction so that others may receive His life.
Speak truth Faithfully
2 Corinthians 4:2 But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God.
Seeing that the ministry is given as a gift by God, we dare not operate in a dishonest way, but speak the truth of God. To minister effectively, we must live honest lives and speak the truth. If we live in an ungodly way privately we squander the grace that God has given us to do ministry. By the grace of God we live a transparent life; what you see is what you get. We live the word of God, and so that others may see the light of God in us through Jesus Christ.
By the grace of God we live a transparent life; what you see is what you get.
Confessions of Faith
2 Corinthians 4:13 We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak
We operate by grace through faith in God. Therefore despite the challenges in ministry, we speak by faith. We believe that the power of God will flow through us. We believe that we will rise again. Therefore while doing ministry, we do not complain of the attacks and challenges, rather we speak the life of God. I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the LORD (Psalm 118:17).
Therefore while doing ministry, we do not complain of the attacks and challenges, rather we speak the life of God. I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the LORD (Psalm 118:17).
See by Faith
2 Corinthians 4:18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.
We endure through God’s grace, by looking by faith to the eternal rewards that we receive from the ministry. Two things - while in ministry we may experience hardships, but God is working through us to give life to others; second, we are reaping the fruits and rewards of our labor in glory. We see these things by faith. While we may suffer, God is at work. You may be losing out in the flesh, but God is at work, even though your eyes don’t see it. By faith, see the souls God is bringing. By faith, see the believers being edified. And, ultimately, by faith, see the fruits and rewards that is laid up for you in glory.
We see these things by faith. While we may suffer, God is at work. You may be losing out in the flesh, but God is at work, even though your eyes don’t see it. By faith, see the souls God is bringing. By faith, see the believers being edified. And, ultimately, by faith, see the fruits and rewards that is laid up for you in glory.
Operate as Ambassadors
Given the Ministry of Reconciliation
God has reconciled us to Himself through Christ. Reconciliation means God has brought us in peace with himself through the atoning work of Christ. God has entrusted to us the task of calling people to be reconciled to God through Christ.
You are an Ambassador
2 Corinthians 5:20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.
An ambassador represents and speaks to foreign leaders on behalf of the heads of government for their own country. The ambassador carries an official role and considered to be a statesman as they speak in place of their governmental heads of state.
We also operate as ambassadors. To operate effectively we must recognize that we speak on behalf of God. We are declaring in Christ’s stead for others to be reconciled to God.
Operate in Sanctity
2 Corinthians 6:3-4 Giving no offence in any thing, that the ministry be not blamed: 4But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God…
To operate effectively we endeavor to keep the ministry free from blame.
We Approve ourselves in everything.
To avoid the ministry being blamed, we must show ourselves as ambassadors of Christ in all things that we do. In all spiritual matters, every minister should be faithful in doing them - praying, fasting, and doing God’s work. In all afflictions, the minister continues to faithfully preach the word through persecutions, afflictions and distress. The minister lives in holiness upholding the integrity of the ministry.
Operate in Humility
2 Corinthians 12:9 ...My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
Do not Boast about Your Spiritual Status
To operate effectively in ministry, we must avoid the temptation to boast about ourselves in our own mind, or to others, of the spiritual manifestations that take place in our lives. Revelations and manifestations of the gifts of the Spirit in our life can lead to us viewing ourselves above what we should. To be effective, resolve to not glory in these things. Remember all spiritual gifts come from God, and are given to bless others not to exalt ourselves.
Glorify God in Your Weaknesses
When we operate in humility, the power of God will rest upon us as we worship God in our weaknesses. We will continue to be effective in ministry by the power of God, even in our weakest moments, if we glorify God in our infirmities.