One thing I have learned about effective preaching and pastoring is that they require considerable time. I have heard some ministers say, “I just show up and open my mouth and the Holy Spirit speaks through me.” Yeah, right; I can tell the ones who do that, not long after they open their mouth. I will say it again–effective ministry takes time.
These days, we must be careful to not become so busy we can’t be effective in the ministry. That is easy to do in this twenty-first century. We have so many things vying for our time. For instance, there is social media, an unlimited supply of digital toys we can buy and become addicted to, other worldly dreams we feel compelled to pursue, to name a few.
As preachers and pastors, our main goal is to be messengers of God to His people. We must never forget that. What manner of honor He has bestowed upon us to entrust us with the ministry of feeding His flock!
But we must maintain diligence to stay properly focused. Our willingness to take on other “ministry” duties can result in us becoming too busy to be effective in the ministry God has called us to. He has not called us to be busy but to be effective. To be effective means to have Kingdom-impact on the lives of others.
In the early days of the New Testament church, the congregation exploded with growth. With church growth came more challenges. One problem underscored in the Scriptures was that some widows were being neglected in the daily ministry. When this complaint was brought to the attention of the apostles; they said, “It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables” (Acts 6:2).
The apostles were not downplaying the importance of providing help for the widows in the church. They just knew it would be unwise for them to take on this work. They did not want this additional task to distract from their main purpose in life. They responded by appointing seven godly men to address the problem at hand.
“But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word,” the apostles declared (Acts 6:4). As ministers of the gospel, we must be committed to studying the Word, prayer, staying attuned to the Holy Spirit—week after week, year after year. When we bring that kind of commitment to what God has called us to He will bless us to be effective in the ministry.
Perhaps you have not been called to be a preacher or pastor in the strictest sense of those offices. But what I say above also applies to other areas of ministry such as Bible teachers, Sunday school teachers, youth leaders, missionaries, praise and worship leaders, etc. Are you too busy in this world–or in the church–to be effective in the ministry God has called you to?
Copyright © 2018 by Frank King. All rights reserved.