What Causes Expansion in Ministry Part 3
The irony of ministry is found within the title of the current leadership series: “What Causes Expansion in Ministry”. As John the Baptist declared it, we are called “to decrease, and He (Christ and His kingdom) must increase”. Do you see the irony of being called to bring increase to Christ’s kingdom, yet we must personally decrease? Once again, here is the passage of scripture from II Corinthians 10:12-18 to refresh your memory:
12 For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise. 13 But we will not boast of things without our measure, but according to the measure of the rule which God hath distributed to us, a measure to reach even unto you. 14 For we stretch not ourselves beyond our measure, as though we reached not unto you: for we are come as far as to you also in preaching the gospel of Christ: 15 Not boasting of things without our measure, that is, of other men's labors; but having hope, when your faith is increased, that we shall be enlarged by you according to our rule abundantly, 16 To preach the gospel in the regions beyond you, and not to boast in another man's line of things made ready to our hand. 17 But he that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord. 18 For not he that commendeth himself is approved, but whom the Lord commendeth.
Increase in ministry was never designed to bring more focus upon us. However, this is the twisted sense of accomplishment often witnessed within the Western Church these days. How sad, indeed. Even within the current rise of the office of apostles, there is much emphasis upon building denominations or fellowships of churches. If this happens, shouldn’t it happen naturally? Think about what Jesus truly meant when He said, “Let the great among you be the servant of all”.
The first sign of true apostleship is a supernatural desire to be a servant. In other words, to be there for people with a support system; to help them with resources, leadership development and imparting vision; to be their cheerleader and coach, etc.
These are not things you do in order for churches to gravitate to your ministry. No. Beloved, this is who we are. It must happen organically. This is not a performance requirement. We are to be a living organism that breathes in and out. Sometimes this aspect of apostleship gets lost among the other more emphasized signs in today’s church. As you can see, Jesus placed the greater emphasis upon being a servant and loving people.
Apostle Paul gave us the idea of how apostles and prophets are part of the foundational structure of the Church. Again, this is not to exalt these offices to a more important place. Look at the canvas of explanation Paul gave us: a painting appears in our minds where we see a home that is finished. It’s beautiful. In this scenario, we rarely give thought to the foundation. Of course, the foundation is not totally disregarded. Yes, it’s really important. People count on the faithfulness of this foundation being in place as they walk around. But in most homes these days, the foundation has some form of floor covering. The floor is not a trophy to be hung on the mantle. It is just there to provide security as people move about.
In light of this, the Word of God gives an opportunity to realign our current approach to ministry. We must decrease. Christ and His kingdom must increase. The word “must” has an emphatic tone to it. This must happen. It’s not a choice, if we want to see Jesus return. As we decrease, and Christ and His kingdom increases, we will see expansion to our ministries. However, let us not think for even one moment that God has done anything but increase the opportunities to serve and display His heart to a larger region. Selah!
Posted on Tue, February 15, 2011
by Bill Faught, Jr. filed under