We could consider 1 Timothy the handbook on biblical ministry within the church. The first half focuses on the work of ministry—the service. The second half focuses on the workman who performs ministry—the servant. The interlude between these two halves (1 Timothy 3:14-16) focuses on the why of ministry—the soul. The ministry may be theologically and biblically correct, but it’s all head and no heart.
A successful industrialist once addressed a large body of executives. Speaking on the topic “Following the Leader,” he emphasized two difficulties leaders often struggle with. First, leaders struggle with getting people to think—to really think. Second, leaders struggle with getting people to establish and maintain priorities. We all wrestle with doing things in order of importance. One of the reasons for this struggle is that we often don’t know what deserves our immediate attention. For ministry our first priority is clear: prayer.
The role of women in the church is a hot issue, best handled with sensitivity and compassion—and maybe a pair of asbestos gloves! This is not because Scripture is controversial but because the role of women in the culture is different from what Scripture teaches about the role of women in the church. So, questions rise like steam from a boiling kettle.
We all wrestle with doing things in order of importance. One of the reasons for this struggle is that we often don’t know what deserves our immediate attention. For ministry our first priority is clear: prayer.
In this brief vignette, we read of Paul—called Saul—before his conversion to Christ. Saul was “a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent aggressor” who, by his own admission, “acted ignorantly in unbelief” (1 Timothy 1:13). Ironically, Saul was a religious zealot, an intense rabbi, sincere to the core…but sincerely wrong. And so? Mercy in the form of Jesus Christ came to the rescue!
This study offers insight on the biblical theology of ministry—as opposed to an approach to ministry based on experience, opinion, prejudice, culture, and preference. Let’s keep a keen eye on what is written in God’s Word and then do our best to let it shape our thinking.
Visiting the sphinx and the pyramids fulfilled a dream. But my most significant Egyptian discovery was to see fear as something to be dealt with, and replaced with faith—faith in others and faith in Christ.
Sometimes balancing these two extremes between faith and fear causes us as Christians some apprehension as we walk the tightrope of life. However, if God requires you to fall off the wire, fall on the side of faith.
We prayed and taught this boy to follow a man who gave up his life that we might live. How could I do anything less than applaud wholeheartedly when he takes us up on it?
There are some things about God I take for granted. They are truths so deeply embedded they have become assumptions. But what I see as assumptions were once stunning revelations.