Ministry with Jesus
Samuel Logan Brengle was an influential spiritual leader for the Salvation Army in the 19th century. He was once asked, “What are the greatest temptations you face in ministry?”
After a moment of reflection, Brengle responded with this insight: “There is really only one temptation in ministry. If we succumb to it then it opens the door to all the others.” That one temptation, Brengle described, was the temptation to do something for God before spending time with God.
Whether you serve in a formal ministry capacity within the church, or if your ministry is carried out in the context of your daily routine; this is a temptation we all face. Especially in our busy, fast-paced society where task or doing can edge out relationship.
Maybe we should go one step further with Brengle’s insight. Not only should we place priority on spending time with God before doing ministry for God, but we should see ministry itself as another way of spending time with God.
This is how Jesus talked about ministry when he said:
Jesus gave them this answer: “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. Yes, and he will show him even greater works than these, so that you will be amazed.” John 5:19-20 (NIV)
Jesus and his Father are still doing ministry today by the Spirit, and Jesus invites us to participate. He doesn’t need us to get some task done for the Father. Rather, he wants us to come to know the Father’s love as he knows it as we participate in his ministry. Like a friendship, we come to know the other best as we share life together. Ministry should not be a task that interferes with our relationship with the Father. Rather, it is another way of participating in that relationship where we come to know the Father’s love for us and the whole world.
What a difference it makes to move from doing ministry for Jesus to participating in ministry with Jesus.
Presented by Jeff Broadnax
About the presenter:
The Word of Life each Sunday is taken from ‘Speaking of Life’, (https://www.gci.org/videos/media-speaking-of-life/ ), a public resource video on the USA website of Grace Communion International.
Jeff Broadnax is a GCI elder in Grace Communion International in the USA and serves as National Coordinator of GCI Generation Ministries.
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