Effectiveness in Ministry and Life is Simple…..
Devotional Thought of the Day:
20 My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 21 I do not treat the grace of God as meaningless. For if keeping the law could make us right with God, then there was no need for Christ to die. Galatians 2:20-21 (NLT)
513 The secret of being effective, at root, lies in your piety, a sincere piety. This way you will pass the whole day with Him.
It seems like almost daily I get e-mails from well meaning people, who want to help pastors to become more effective. They define effectiveness differently, and often talk of different aspects of ministry. Some on discipleship, some on outreach, some of being more pure in doctrine. Many are willing to be consultants, put one seminars, even become coaches of those who serve the church.
Some of these people have great experience in ministry and rely on their experience. Some have studied it from a distance, and teach and coach based on observing others effective ministries. They all have god ideas, some work better in this place, rather than that place. It is good to have their ideas available, but it takes wisdom born of prayer to know which might work, and when to shift from this idea to that.
But effectiveness as a servant of God, in whatever role, is found apart from methodologies, strategies, and even experiences. For even as Christians are not clones of each other, but are gifted and driven by the Spirit as the Spirit desires, so are churches. Some are great at evangelism, some are great at being resource centers, some are great at ministering to those that don’t feel at home in a church, who need very tender care.
Because they are different, because we are different, the same rules, programs, processes, worship styles don’t work in the same places.
What is needed in every place? Piety, or what I prefer to define simple as “walking with Jesus” or “walking in Christ”. Piety is simply the practice of realize our lives are focused in Christ, they are not lived some how distant from God, and this is a good thing. We need Him!
He is there.
With His grace, His wisdom, His love, His comfort, and yes, He shepherds us. We learn of His heart, and we are transformed into Him image according to Paul in 2 Corinthians 3. The transformation results in working in the ministry of reconciliation, just as presenting our bodies as living sacrifices results in the Holy Spirit using us in certain roles to minister to each other in Romans 12, and receiving the Lords Supper resolves into a similar discussion in 1 Corinthians 12-13.
Walking with God, Abiding in Christ, or even more clearly, the passage from Romans above – it is Christ that is living in us as we trust in His promises, in His work; there is the key to effectiveness, success, and even survival, whether as a church of 20, or one of 2000. Each different, each not just being directed by God as if we are soldering in Afghanistan receiving orders from the Pentagon and White house. Rather we are directed here, where we live, for we live and breath with Christ. There is where effectiveness occurs, there is where there is peace and joy, even in the midst of trauma, tribulation and even real persecution.
Walk with Him… talk, listen, love.. and see where He leads.
Escriva, Josemaria (2011-01-31). The Forge (Kindle Locations 1949-1950). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.
Posted on December 16, 2014, in Devotions and tagged Abiding in Christ, body of Christ, Church, Coaching, effectiveness, Eucharist, Ministry, Ministry consultants, mission, St. Josemaria Escriva, walking with God. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.