Tuesday, June 11, 2013

...not just a few professionals


And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, 
to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, 
and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. 
And all who believed were together and had all things in common. 
And they were selling their possessions and belongings 
and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. 
And day by day, attending the temple together 
and breaking bread in their homes, 
they received their food with glad and generous hearts, 
praising God and having favor with all the people. 
And the Lord added to their number day by day 
those who were being saved. 
-Acts 2:42-47

The following represents some key pillars of what should define ministry for any true believer in the Lord Jesus Christ. I certainly haven't arrived at these things in my own life and ministry. But they are there as key signposts to remind us all of what is important vs. what is urgent.

May they be an encouragement to you and be used by God to strengthen you as you serve Him in the sphere of influence He has sovereignly placed you today.

Take Heaven By Storm,

12 Essentials of Christian Ministry for All Believers in Jesus Christ

pray fervently: 
praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, -Eph. 6:18

study carefully: 
Now these Bereans were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so. -Acts 17:11

embrace fidelity:
And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers. -1 Thess. 2:13

contend earnestly:
Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. -Jude 3
live missionally:
and thus I make it my ambition to preach the gospel, not where Christ has already been named, lest I build on someone else's foundation, -Romans 15:20

serve sacrificially: 
So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. -Phil. 2:1-4

teach faithfully:
But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine. Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness. Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. Likewise, urge the younger men to be self-controlled. Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us. -Titus 2:1-8

love unconditionally:
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. -1 Cor. 13:4-8a

walk obediently: 
Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people. -Titus 3:1-2

repent daily:
Pay attention to yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him, and if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him.” -Luke 17:3-4

worship continually:Through Him [Jesus] then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. -Hebrews 13:15

and watch expectantly.
Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing. -2 Tim. 4:8


~Mark said...

Well put! I did a paper in school on exactly this topic...all of life is ministry for the Christian.

SJ Camp said...

"all of life is ministry..."


One of the chief duties for pastors is to "equip the saints for the work of the ministry."


donsands said...

"Love...believes all things"

What do you think Paul means here?

Love belives all the Scriptures?

I always wondered about this one phrase.

Very good post. Thanks.

SJ Camp said...

Great question. I have always understood this to mean that love assumes the best from others - it believes all things - it doesn't initially question motives. It, as one commentator says, "unsuspiciously believes all that is not palpably false; all that it can with a good conscience believe to the credit of another." (JF&B)

To illustrate: if you tell me, "Steve I have changed in a certain area of my life..." or "I know I have hurt you in the past, please forgive me...", etc. we are to accept that as truthful until proven otherwise.

Love is not gullible, but it does has an initial faith to believe all men in what they are saying.


donsands said...

That fits well Steve. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Well stated...I heartily agree! The only other Christian minitry essential that I see as imperative is to "fight joyfully." I need to daily ask God for His grace to mightily do battle against dishonoring joylessness! I appreciated the "watch expectantly" essential...may we place all our hope in His glorious appearing!

SJ Camp said...

Amen! I like that...

Anonymous said...

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding, in all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct thy path. prov 3:5

Anonymous said...


Regarding the rules of engagement,you stated that you don't allow anonymous posting....

SJ Camp said...

Regarding the rules of engagement,you stated that you don't allow anonymous posting....

That is correct. Rule number 3 which says:

3. No anonymous posting allowed. You must fill out and complete the Blogger bio form on all essential categories completely (i.e. email, blogs, city, state, vocation, etc.). In regards to name: first name only is acceptable-last name can be included at your own discretion. AND, you may only post under one name at a time--no multiple "nicks." Please enable blogger to allow your profile to be shown."

I do this so that we can have discussion that is helpful and profitable for all. It has been my experience that when people post anonymously, that they will express themselves on issues in ways that they most definitely don't if they have to attach their name to those same comments.

This, getting back to the theme of this post, is helpful in ministry. Context is so important and knowing of someone's bio helps put things in context so that others may respond in ways that edify.

I don't check every single nick on this blog. I don't have time for that with the number of comments I receive here on a weekly basis. But I do from time to time and it is helpful.

Thanks for your comment and hopes this helps explain things a bit more for you.


Michele Rayburn said...

I don't really like to get hung up on rules, but it just seems to me that if you don't have the person's last name, then they truly are anonymous.

I mean how many Johns are there? Or how many Johns are there that drive a truck? But how many John Smith's are there? Now that really narrows it down...well not really. Let's pick another name.

How many John Owens do you know? Now there's a name :) Or how many John Owens drive a truck in Evansville, Indiana? I think you get my point.

But still in most cases you probably can't prove who they are. But at least with a last name, the person is more identifiable.

I never have liked strange "nicks" because you feel like you really don't know who you're talking to, and in most cases, you don't!

Boaly said...

Brilliant post Steve, Thanks

Danny said...

May I ask an unrelated question? OK, here goes. I was listening to the St. Annes Pub broadcast of M. Horton and D. Wilson discuss the Federal Vision. At one point Horton said that he was not a cessasionist. He seemed to be talking in the context of dispensationalism v. covenentalism. Is this contextually different than when talking about the gifts of the spirit and cessasionism etc.???
Steve, I don't want to hijack the thread so move my post anywhere you like.

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