Fulfill Your Ministry
// ILLUSTRATION //
I read a story about Cathy Rigby.
She was a member of the U.S. Women's Gymnastics Team in the 1972 Olympics at Munich.
Cathy had only one goal in mind - to win a gold medal.
She had trained hard over a long period. On the day she was scheduled to perform, she prayed for the strength and the control to get through her routine without making mistakes. She was tense with determination not to let herself or her country down.
She performed well, but when it was all over and the winners were announced, her name was not among them. Cathy was crushed.
Afterward, she joined her parents in the stands all set for a good cry. As she sat down, she could barely manage to say, "I'm sorry. I did my best."
"You know that, and I know that," her mother said, "and I'm sure God knows that too."
Then, Cathy recalls, her mother said 10 words that she has never forgotten: "Doing your best is more important than being the best."
// INTRODUCTION //
How do you define success?
- Is success to you having a lot of money?
- Is success to you owning a beautiful home?
- Is success to you being famous?
What about in ministry? What does success in ministry look like?
- Is a ministry successful because it has a lot of people following it?
- Is a ministry successful because it is known around the world?
What about your Christianity, your walk with God? How do you define success as a Christian? How do you know you’re on the right track?
- Do you think success as a Christian means you go to church at least once a week?
- Do you think success as a Christian means you never drink or get high anymore?
How do you measure success?
Biblically, success is doing what God has called you to do.
No matter how much money you have, or how famous you are, or how big your ministry is, or how often you come to church, success is only found in doing what God has called us to do. That’s where the victory is at.
At Hope, when we did our Easter weekend outreach, I was barbequing with Frank, and he was talking about how he hopes people will show up. And I told him, it is not a failure if people don’t show up, it’s a failure if we don’t do it.
You see, we can only fail if we don’t do what we’re supposed to do. The only way we can fail as Christians is to not do what we’re called to do.
// SCRIPTURE //
16 And when this letter has been read among you, have it also read in the church of the Laodiceans; and see that you also read the letter from Laodicea. 17 And say to Archippus, “See that you fulfill the ministry that you have received in the Lord.”
18 I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand. Remember my chains. Grace be with you.
// MAIN IDEA //
Paul is concluding this letter, and he makes this one final remark – tell Archippus to fulfill his ministry.
That is what God has brought me here to say tonight.
- Manuel, fulfill your ministry.
- Denise, fulfill your ministry.
- Ruben, fulfill your ministry.
- Boogie, fulfill your ministry.
- Jim, fulfill your ministry.
We all have a ministry.
God has chosen you from before the foundation of the world. He has a plan and a purpose for your life. He has entrusted you with skills, talents, resources, opportunities, money, and experiences, so that you can use them to build the Kingdom of God.
It’s easy to feel like we don’t matter sometimes. It’s easy to look around and feel insignificant in light of all that is going on in the world. But according to God, you matter.
10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
In other words, you were created by a great God to do great things.
If this is true, then one of the most important things we can do is discover what our ministry is – figure out what we’re supposed to do.
// DISCOVERING YOUR MINISTRY //
Maybe some of us in here have a clear direction of our calling and ministry. But there are others who don’t quite know what our calling is or what our ministry should be.
So, how do we discover our ministry?
Let’s talk about 3 things.
1. Ask God.
Ask God for direction. Ask God what He has for you to do. Ask God what He has entrusted you with.
2. Ask yourself.
Oftentimes, our calling, our ministry, has to do with what we are naturally good at or passionate about.
So ask yourself, what am I good at?
What are you good at [name]?
And also ask yourself, what am I passionate about? What do I like to do?
What do you like to do [name]?
3. Ask others.
Sometimes, we are blind to what we are truly good at. Ask a few people around you what they think you’re good at, or what it seems you’re passionate about.
One of the most important people you can ask is your pastor. He is the one praying for you daily. He is the one entrusted with your soul. He is the one who wants to see you grow and mature spiritually. He likely has some things to say about your calling and ministry.
It’s important to realize that your ministry does not have to fit into anyone’s mold. Ministry is not just the option of usher, worship leader, or pastor. Maybe you’ll find that you love to cook. Think about how you can use that to glorify God. Maybe you can try cooking food for before or after service. Maybe you can cook food to give away to the community.
As a side note, it is important to note that sometimes the ministry we are called to is seasonal. By that, I mean, sometimes God calls us to operate in a specific ministry for a season, and then will call us into a different area of service for another season.
For instance, you may be called to plant a church. However, that might not happen for another year, or even 10 years.
So do you just sit around and wait for that time to come? No, God has something for you to do right here and now, for this season as well. Maybe God has you spending a season as an usher, and then later as a Bible Study leader, and then later as a youth pastor, and then later as a senior pastor. The key is, be open to serve God in any and all capacities. And more than that, treat each step along the way as equally important.
// FULFILLING YOUR MINISTRY //
Once we know what we are called to do, once we know what our ministry is, we need to fulfill our ministry.
This means bringing it to completion, to accomplish what needs to be accomplished, to carry out what God expects of you.
If you’re not currently in ministry, if you’re not currently serving God in some capacity –
Don’t wait until you’re given a position or title. Start now.
What you need to do first is talk to your pastor. Tell him what you feel you are gifted at, and what you feel you are called to do, and allow him to guide your involvement in ministry. Trust me, he will give you a platform to do what you’re supposed to do for God.
On that note, don’t hold off on your preparation for ministry. If you feel called to teach a Bible Study one day, don’t wait until you’re asked to lead a Bible Study before you start studying the Bible, and putting together studies.
Likewise, if you feel called to pastor a church, don’t wait until you get sent out to start operating in that. Learn to make relationships with people, begin making disciples now, begin evangelizing now, learn to preach now, learn how to run a church now, learn how to manage ministry and your family now.
If you feel called to be on the worship team, start learning an instrument now, start learning music now, start learning how to sing now.
Many of you are already involved in some sort of ministry.
So the question tonight is, “are you doing what you’re supposed to do?”
Where are you at?
- Are you fulfilling your ministry?
- Are you giving it your all in ministry?
- Are you doing everything you should be doing in your ministry?
- Are you doing your very best in your ministry?
Can I tell you a secret? Just because you come to church 5 times a week does not mean you are fulfilling your ministry.
Success in ministry is not found in comparing ourselves with others.
- I do more than them, so I’m good.
- My ministry is bigger than theirs, so I’m on the right track.
No, you are only successful in ministry if you are doing all that God wants you to do. You don’t have to be the best in the world, you need to be the best you can be.
As an usher:
- Are you greeting everyone that walks into this church with a smile? Or are you walking around or sitting there with a sour look on your face – making it uncomfortable for other people?
- Are you getting to church early, before the congregation?
As a worship team member:
- Are you practicing new songs as much as you can? Or are you comfortable with the same old songs?
- Are you practicing on your instrument as much as you can? Or do you just play when you’re here?
- Do you do whatever it takes to come to church with a clear and holy mindset, ready to lead people into worship? Or do you walk in all jacked up and hindered?
As a head usher:
- Do you have a schedule for your ushers? Or do you just choose people randomly when they come to church?
- Are you training someone to take your spot?
As a Sunday School teacher:
- Are you treating the ministry with honor? Or do you just wing it because they are kids?
As a media person:
- Do you spend time making the slides look nicer, and more presentable? Or are you satisfied to just put up whatever?
As a worship leader:
- Are you investing in upcoming worship leaders?
- Are you training people from the congregation in music and vocals, so they can fulfill their calling on the worship team?
As a sound person:
- Do you invest time in training others on how to use the sound system?
- Do you spend time learning more so you can make it sound even better?
As an evangelist:
- Are you drawing people to the church?
- Are you scheduling preaching dates?
- Are you doing your very best?
As a connect group leader:
- Are you training future connect group leaders?
- Are you spending time throughout the week preparing for the discussion?
- Are you investing in the lives of others beyond that day?
Are we doing all that we can? Are we giving our very best in our ministry?
// CONCLUSION //
Whether or not you fulfill your ministry matters.
So much is at stake.
First of all, God has entrusted you with this calling, this ministry, your gifts, your talents, your opportunities, your life. And He expects you to fulfill this calling, this ministry. He expects you to invest your life into the Kingdom. In fact, the Bible says in Matthew 25 that we will be held accountable for how we handled or mishandled all that God has entrusted to us.
Secondly, we are all part of the Body of Christ locally. Some of us are hands, others are feet, some are legs, and some are arms. Nonetheless, we are all part of the same body. And as such, if one part is weak, we all suffer.
And on a bigger scale, our local church is part of the larger Body of Christ worldwide. And if our local body is weak, the whole body suffers.
We are God’s plan for saving the world. There is no plan B.
You have a role in this plan. And your role is just as important as everyone else’s role.
We need you.
So, tonight, will you make a decision to fulfill your ministry?
Will you make a commitment tonight to give God your very best?
If so, will you please make your way up here, and I would be honored to pray with you and agree with you as you make this stand.