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)
As you Davids descend into the dark valley of reality to face your looming Goliaths I want to make sure your pouch is filled with 5 smooth stones. If you lack even one of them, you risk going down in failure because for you, the battle looms.
Do we ask ourselves, “Does God care how I go about ministry? We search Scripture to see. Then we examine church history for the spiritually dynamic movements and conclude that indeed God does care how we do ministry. And that he went to great effort to reveal his mind to us. Not in a handful of proof-texts hidden away here and there, but in five major themes of Scripture. Theologians call them bibliology, ecclesiology, pneumatology, soteriology, and Christology.
Today let’s name them in the hope that you will be stirred to start picking up your stones from the flow of the Spirit through the Word. You may have them in your pouch already. If so, today I charge you to use them faithfully in your ministry.
Every traditional method or new proposal rigorously brought under the functional authority of Scripture. Will we pause and identify the issue. Perhaps as in multiple areas, the issue is defined differently. Can you agree on what the issue is?
I will build my church, said Jesus, identifying his method for carrying out the purposes on earth. And what was that church to look like? Those who received his commission gave us a whole book of examples and then went on to explain the implications of what took place as recorded in the book of Acts. Which purpose comes to mind when you hear: Methodist? Baptist? Fundamentalist? Charismatic? Salvation Army? Presbyterian? Now—your own congregation?
God designed his purposes for the church to be fulfilled by people whom he gifts by the Holy Spirit to carry out those purposes. Didn’t Paul assure us that the Spirit distributes his gifts to EACH ONE as he designs?. But what if some necessary Spirit enablement is missing? Desire earnestly. How about you? Do you have a dream, a passion of how you want to be used of God?
God consistently works through leaders to focus and mature a congregation. Whatever we value enough to invest our leadership energy and prayer and financial support in is what the congregation accomplishes. A good question to reflect on is, “Do we have a biblical balance that reflects the principle: God’s plan of redemption is the mission of every disciple.” Evangelism is one biblical purpose of the church, it is also the central mission of every believer’s life.
By nature we don’t really want him to be Lord. We want to be our own Lord, and the lord of the others in our lives. Indeed, lord of the church. Follow Jesus’ model and where do you end? When every member, especially the leaders embrace the basin of servanthood, indeed the cross, there is a mighty resurrection. Unity, power. So how is it with YOU? Who is lord?
There you have it—the five smooth stones – the church, the Holy Spirit, the Lordship of Christ, evangelism, and the authority of the Scripture. Be sure you have every one of them in your pouch. If you do, since they ae God’s own blueprint for ministry, I can promise you a lifetime of effective ministry.