16 Lessons from 16 Years of Ministry

An encourager will never lack ministry opportunities. Impulsiveness is deadly. Even though it often masquerades itself as zeal for Christ, impulsiveness is a destructive force that can cause deep hurts in the body of Christ. What the Lord is doing in us is far more important that what it appears He is doing through us.

Sweet 16

Sixteen years ago, on a brisk October day, Debbie and I left the comforts of family, friends, and country to begin missionary life in Ghana, W. Africa. Years of prayer and preparation for ministry had finally come to fruition. As we boarded the plane, thoughts of how the Lord might use us for the gospel’s advance filled us with excitement. I remember that day vividly. It’s hard to believe that was sixteen years ago. Needless to say, a lot has happened in our lives since then.

Recently, I took time to reflect on some of the things that the Lord’s been teaching me over the past sixteen years in ministry. I pray that some of these reflections might be an encouragement to you as well.

Lessons Learned

  1. Worship, not influence, is the goal of ministry. Influence is fickle. Christ is forever. Therefore, we do what we do for Jesus.
  2. Ministry is a divine work that can only be accomplished through divine aid (John 15:4-5Col.1:28-29). Apart from Christ, we can do nothing. Everything we do apart from Christ is nothing.
  3. The cumulative effect of expository preaching is powerfully transformative in the life of the church.
  4. The public and private ministry of the Word go hand-in-hand (Acts 20:20).  I love preaching, but ministry is a lot more than just proclaiming God’s Word from a pulpit in church on Sunday.

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