Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The "E"ssentials of Ministry
...what's not for sale: the nonnegotiables

"But I do not consider my life of any account
as dear to myself, so that I may finish my course
and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus,
to testify solemnly of the gospel of the grace of God."

-Acts 20:24



Some of inquired of me why blog; why spend the hours of research on the posts, and what drives that dedication? As I began to distill those reasons to reasonable sign posts, here are six essentials for ministry that I am bound to. I certainly haven't arrived in these things and on many a day do them poorly. But it is my sincere desire and prayer to the Lord Jesus that He would daily cause my life to honor these things more and more to His glory. Whether in song, preaching or teaching God's Word, blogging, etc. these are the things that are the fuel behind the passion.

Maybe they will resonate with you as well.

We live in the day of the half-hearted commitment beloved. The pedestals are virtually empty regarding leadership worth emulating. Where are the Paul's today that can honestly say, "Follow me as I follow Christ..."? By God's sanctifying grace, I prayerfully want to serve the Lord as one of the those men today. Though I fall far short many days, by God's mercy, He still uses me to do His work (2 Cor. 4:5). What is my greatest "work" in Him that I do each day? Raising five wonderful children in the nuture and admonition of the Lord that aren't really children anymore (ages 12-18). I am learning to be a Dad all over again with all the new struggles, hurdles, fears, joys, talents, jobs, relationships, etc. that occupy their days (especially as teenagers). It is my joy to be their father and your prayers are so appreciated that I would lead and serve them with patience, love, truth, and grace.

Grace and peace to you,
Steve
2 Cor. 4:5-7



1. To: Exalt and reverence a high view of God
To honor the One Triune God of the Bible in the fullness of His attributes as to how He has revealed Himself through general and special revelation. To glorify God in all things; to reverence the person, character and ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ; and to worship, live, and serve in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Psalm 115:1 "Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but to Your name give glory because of Your mercy, because of Your truth."


2. To: Equip the saints with the Word of God
To honor Sola Scriptura; that all things be done by the authority of and not in contradiction to God's holy Word.

Psalm 19:7-11 "The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul; The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple; The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes; The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold; Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them Your servant is warned, and in keeping them there is great reward."


3. To: Encourage the saints to walk with God
A right view of God; and an orthodox, obedient view of Scripture; should be exemplified in Christlike living.

Titus 2:11-12 "For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age."


4. To: Exhort the saints to worship God
To live daily in the presence of His glory; to present our lives as living sacrifices; holy, acceptable, pleasing unto God - for this is our just and spiritual worship

Ephesians 5:8-11 "For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness..."


5. To: Engage the saints in sacrificial service to God and others
We preach not ourselves and proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord and your servants for Jesus sake; the fruit, will be service to God and His creatures.

1 Peter 4:10-11 "As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen."


6. To: Evangelize the lost with the gospel of God
To herald Jesus Christ and Him crucified and risen; to go where Christ is not yet named; to proclaim the gospel of sola fide, calling all men everywhere to repentance by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
We affirm that any genuine gospel presentation should contain in some manner the following key truths:
  1. The law of God
  2. The depravity and sinfulness of man
  3. The impotence of good, religious works to save
  4. The virgin birth and sinless life of Jesus
  5. Justification by grace alone through faith alone
  6. The vicarious substitutionary death of Christ
  7. The imputation of the righteousness of Christ
  8. The bodily resurrection of Jesus from the dead
  9. Repentance from sin
  10. The Lordship of Christ
"the gospel is the power of God unto salvation..." (Roms. 1:16)

"But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life." (Titus 3:4-7)

"For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures; and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures," (1 Corinthians 15:3-4)

5 comments:

Shawn L said...

You said, "I want to be one of the those men--in my heart of hearts--that is my goal and desire. Though I fall far short many days, by God's grace, He still uses me to do His work. "

Amen. Thank you for you blog many times it encourages me to continue to strive to be a man of God in all circumstances. Let's not be half-hearted beloved.

Going to read my devotions and sing with my kids.

Blessings in the Lord,
Shawn Lynes

Marcia said...

I travel far and wide around the blogosphere, and find a lot of interesting reading.

But when I want Truth, I wander back here. Thank you.

P.S. I have three teenagers of my own, thanks, plus an 8-year-old who thinks she is one. I'm with you, brother.

Wm Mallory said...

Steve,

Thank you !!! I understand the time, hours of research, postings, dedication to make sure the posts are biblically acurate, answering email questions, responding to comments.. Lengthy scriptural responses.. Updating A1M... All of this and more that you do..

Outside of Fathering and the demands of daily life and your own study time...Other ministry engagements that you have..so on and so forth... Know that I appreciate you always and that all who visit this blog regularly consider it an honor/blessing that you would humbly be of service to us all..

We love you my brother,

Bill Mallory

SJ Camp said...

Thank you all for your encouraging words and support of this ministry. To God be the glory!!!

By His grace,
Steve
2 Cor. 4:5

ann_in_grace said...

After over a year of reading your blog, I cannot imagine Steve Camp any other way than this: strong conviction, passion for the Gospel, love for the Word of God.
This is the reason why your blog is my daily inspiration.
Thank you and God Bless you, both in preaching and in your music.