二○一九年一月十二日／一月十三日 Click here for English version
Aligning Our Ministry with God's Purposes
——Thoughts on Covenant Day for Ministry Leaders
Rev Gordon Siu
The Bible contains clear instructions on how the people of God should carry out their Christian service: "From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself (the church) up in love, as each part does its work" (Ephesians 4:16).
In the Bible's original language, "serve" can also be translated as "worship," meaning our worship of God as expressed in daily life. God is the target of our Christian service. We are not serving idols or ourselves. To show our adoration of God, we not only worship God with a humble heart, but we also put our best, our gifts and resources into the ministry.
As such, our Christian ministry must always point to the Lord, and we need to adjust our focus and direction every now and then to make sure it does. We perform our duties diligently and faithfully not because of worries over poor performance or losing face, or because we see our work as being responsible to man. Rather, it is to tell the Lord, "Your mandate has been completed with faithfulness." A distinguished Christian has aptly said that the best ministry – one that pleases the Lord, is definitely a ministry of faith. God does not need our help. I believe that if we obey His instructions, God will bestow the necessary abilities to accomplish His work. If we will depend on God and courageously embark on His work, He will be pleased.
Today, we who serve the Lord need to be vigilant "because the days are evil." There will be distractions along the way that make us unable to bring our pledged ministry to completion. These distractions turn a ministry of adoration into a routine or difficult task that brings disgrace on the Lord. In a utilitarian world, it is easy for us to focus on remarkable ministry results rather than our love of the Lord…. All of us who serve God need to humble ourselves before Him and align our ministry with His purposes.
It is also because of human frailty that beginners in ministry work should make a covenant together with the ministry group. This is to seek a witness in publicly declaring his commitment to serve God. He is also humbly calling out to God saying that he needs His help in order to serve unswervingly. It is like setting up an altar before God to offer oneself again to Him. The covenant is made together with the ministry group or those who serve in different ministries. This represents a mutual pledge to "each part does its work." In affirming Christ as our head, we rely on God and work for Him so we can serve as each other's supporting ligament and build up the body of Christ, which is His church.
Of course, all those who enter into ministry work have been nominated or elected by trust. Their making of the covenant, then, is a pledge that other people's trust for them will not go to no avail, and that an effort will be made to finish the job. In turn, those who nominated these ministry workers should remind themselves to support the nominees and to take responsibility for their nomination.
[The Chinese version is edited from the Pastor's Sharing in the worship bulletin dated Jan 17, 2010]