Ministry Success – Man or the Method – Part 3

(Colossians 1:24–29, ESV)
Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church, of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints. To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.

The man or woman that God uses is first of all holy. Second, he or she must be totally dependent on God. Third, the man or woman that God uses is fully willing to work hard in His power. 

Note that the words used here indicate hard work – “toil” and “struggle” and note as well, that this hard work is done according to His power. The work is difficult and can only be done as we submit to Him in faith which is a point of "tension" in ministry – God and I work together to accomplish the task before us; and even though God is working with me and in me, it is tough and tiresome. There is no place for "kicking back" and taking it easy. God will give us rest at the appropriate times, yet when we are doing His work it will take physical, emotional and spiritual energy. Success God’s way will take time and involve sacrifice, and all the methods in the world will not overcome weaknesses in leadership character. That includes being one who works with diligence; who toils and labors in carrying out the hard and soft tasks of the ministry.


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