August 22 – Five Smooth Stones

August 22 – Five Smooth Stones

1 Samuel 17:40

“Then he took his staff in his hand and chose five smooth stones from the brook and put them in his shepherd’s pouch. His sling was in his hand, and he approached the Philistine.” (1 Samuel 17:40)

Here you have it – the “five smooth stones” for your David, whether church or other ministry, to slay Goliath and all his brothers! As you move into a new autumn schedule and ministry, upon what will your ministry be based? Here I suggest a firm foundation.

  • The BIBLE only and the whole Bible our only final authority for life and ministry.
  • The CHURCH, central to all God’s plans for redeeming a world.
  • The HOLY SPIRIT, his energizing power indispensable to all life and ministry.
  • The PLAN OF REDEMPTION, the calling of every disciple full participation.
  • The LORD Jesus Christ, sovereign in every believer and in his church.

THE BIBLE. To get anywhere with God’s purposes through his church, the leaders and congregation must take seriously the responsibility to bring every aspect of the ministry under the functional authority of Scripture, every new idea, every old tradition, every activity, every plan. Otherwise it will fail to be what God intends. It won’t be easy. Diligent, objective, thorough Bible research combined with determined full compliance and eternal vigilance are the essentials.

THE CONGREGATION. Don’t forget that a congregation weak in even one of the purposes of the church is crippled by so much, falls short of full obedience. Remember, too, that for a para-church ministry, concentrating on some specific purpose of the church, to be biblically authentic, must flow into and/or out of the local congregation.

THE HOLY SPIRIT. His energizing power in a congregation is seen primarily in the supernatural ability(s) he gives each member. The church is responsible to make sure every member fully uses his or her gifting – discovering, developing, deploying and, when a purpose of the church is weak, united in desiring earnestly the gift needed to lead the church in fulfilling that purpose. But the Spirit does so much more – guiding, providing. All this activity of the Spirit, however, is released only as we connect with him in prayer. A praying church is a growing, victorious church, fulfilling all the God-designed purposes. A prayerless church or other ministry is limited to what can be achieved by purely human wisdom and power.

THE PLAN OF REDEMPTION, every member’s calling. Beyond the varied callings and enablings of the Spirit is the first and paramount calling of all – to complete what Christ began, to fulfill Christ’s last mandate, to participate fully in redeeming a lost humanity. Near-evangelism for all as witnesses and far-evangelism, specialists sent by the church to enable it to reach it’s goal. That goal? Every person on earth hearing with understanding the way to life and a congregation of God’s people established in every place. Until that task is complete, the primary assignment of the Church remains unfulfilled. And for that every member must accept the Spirit’s call.

THE LORDSHIP OF CHRIST. For any of this to happen, of course, Jesus Christ alone must be absolute Lord of his church. First he must be Lord of each member, but for him to actually function as Lord of the congregation or ministry, the leaders must embody the leadership model of God Himself. To the extent he is Lord in their lives and ministry to that extent will the church be united and pure, bringing about the fulfillment of all the purposes God has for the congregation.

Thank you for journeying together in searching for the key to success in ministry. Perhaps for you, too, it will be found in the wedding of theology and ministry in some combination that pleases God.

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