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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

What do clay pots have to do with ministry?

by Nelson Roth
In II Corinthians chapter four, Paul teaches what Christian ministry is all about.

The word for ministry that he uses in verse one means, giving service to another with the idea that this service is being done because of the command of a superior.  So, Paul says it correctly when in verse five he says, “we don’t preach ourselves, but Christ as Lord, and ourselves as servants.”

  • How does the idea of being a servant and serving in this way settle with you?
Paul explains ministry further with the picture of a clay pot in verse seven.  When it comes to clay pots they can serve two purposes, to either be on display or to be functional because of the contents they carry inside.
  • Where do you think that Paul is headed with this illustration?
  • What point do you think he wants to make?

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Gifted to glorify God

by Brad Houchin
My wife and I have been serving in the church for a little over 17 years now. Our introduction to ministry began as volunteers with a youth ministry. We had two roles, crowd control and helping with events. Over time, the responsibilities began to change along with our hearts.  We grew in confidence and began to say, “yes” to more and more opportunities; eventually, leading to a paid position as a student pastor.

We have always loved hanging out with students; but reflecting back over the years, becoming a “student pastor” never was the goal. In fact, right after our first son, Clayton, was born in 1999; Teresa and I had both made the decision to take time for family and be done with student ministry. We had just landed at a new church home and the time to make this ministry break was available for us. Well...less than 10 months later we were leading student ministries again, and in 2004 we left a job of 12 years and took a full-time position as Director of Student Ministries at Crosswinds Community Church in Bloomington, IL. God had instilled in us a passion for young people and we could not say, “no” to serving.

What about you? What are you really passionate about? What ministry needs do you see? Are you choosing to respond relevantly?

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Healthy ministry begins with relationship

By Jeff Hegstrom
When I first started out in ministry, I willingly admit that I knew absolutely nothing, but I had a passion to “do” something for God. I wanted to make a difference! I longed for God to use the good and bad experiences I had in my life and I wanted to share my spiritual life journey to bring hope to the hopeless and win the lost for Him.

I still love that kind of raw passion for God, but what I didn’t understand back then was that I couldn’t do it alone. During the first three years of ministry, I almost burned myself out trying to “do” everything and reach out to every age group. I had the misguided idea that as the paid staff member, I should and could meet all the needs of the ministry. 

One evening, as I was getting ready to kick off one of our weekly ministries to college students, I broke. Wow, that’s an honest thought. I broke… I broke, and I couldn’t fix me, so right then and there I cried out to God for help and He answered me (Psalm 40:1-3) and showed me that I was trying to serve Him, without Him.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Ministry and ministers

by Nelson Roth
Believers doing ministry is a mark of spiritual health.

What are the personal challenges from that short statement?  What is your perspective of “believers doing ministry?”  And, what is ministry?  If believers doing ministry is tied to spiritual health, the thought is that as an evaluator - ministry is a gauge for spiritual health.

Let’s look into this further letting the following three questions guide us:  Who are the ministers?  What is ministry?  Why is ministry important?