God call servants
First, let’s talk about God’s call. Paul writes, “according to the
stewardship from God.” Clearly (from here and other writings), Paul
understood that he was called by God for a special task in the body of
Christ. We, too, are called to play a vital role in the church. Have
you acknowledged your call? Do you know what you are called to do in
Called to be servants
Paul calls himself a servant in 1.23 (servant of the gospel) and 1.25
(servant of the church). First and foremost, we are called to be
Servants are called to suffer
"I rejoice in my sufferings for you," Paul writes, "and I fill up in my
physical body—for the sake of his body, the church—what is lacking in
the sufferings of Christ." At first, I wrestled with that last part,
"what is lacking in the sufferings of Christ." But then I remembered
what Paul’s (then Saul) experience on the road to Damascus. Jesus asked
Saul why he was persecuting him. Then, Jesus’ words to
Ananias, whom Jesus was sending to Paul, were that God would show him
what things he must suffer for the kingdom. We participate in the
ongoing sufferings of Christ when we serve God in a world that is
Servants are called to proclaim
Paul says, "We proclaim him by instructing and teaching all people." He says this is his goal. So, let’s talk about our goal.
The Servants’ Goal — To form disciples of Jesus Christ
- “so that we may present every person mature in Christ”
- “that their hearts, having been knit together in love, may be
encouraged, and that they may have all the riches that assurance brings
in their understanding of the knowledge of the mystery of God, namely,
I love that we can see the Great Commission right here in Colossians.
Our goal is to form disciples of Jesus Christ, to lead others toward
maturity in Christ.
Today, we want to get very practical. The following "church ministry
plan" and my "personal ministry plan," you will see or hear again and
again. This is our (and my) goal. This is the direction we’re going in.
Our Church Ministry Plan
- Embrace our call to be servants
- Gain willingness to risk, to suffer (we need courage)
- Cultivate relationships (with brothers/sisters; with unreached friends)
- Develop a missional focus to proclaim Christ
- Grow disciples (ourselves and others)
Interestingly, Paul talks about how hard this work is. We, too,
need to realize that it’s going to be hard work: to turn things around,
to become missional again, to grow ourselves and others, to sow seeds
in the Valley, to follow God in a world that’s not as receptive to the
church as it once was.
My Personal Ministry Plan
The following is my understanding of the role of pastor. I’m going to do my best to follow these guidelines and priorities.
My goal is to spend 80% of my time doing these things …
- Teach (preach, cast vision, proclaim, etc.)
- Equip (self, leaders, servants)
and the remaining 20% of my time in other areas, such as …
My job is to give away ministry. I will do this by equipping you
for the work of the ministry. As more and more people are equipped,
more and more ministry and outreach will happen in our Valley. More
seeds will be sown, and as a result, a greater harvest will be
I am excited about what God is doing in, through, and among us! May God use us for his glory!