Being Versus Doing: Which is most important in ministry?

Biblical Principles About Being Versus Doing:

In God’s Book, both are essential.  However, God does make it clear that what we do grows out of who we are.

The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks. (Lk. 6:45)

He also makes it clear that if we don’t do what we should be doing, something is wrong.

As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead. (James 2:26)

No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit.  (Lk. 6:43)

Practical Application of Being Versus Doing in Ministry:

Guard against hypocrisy.  How easy it is for people in ministry to say one thing and do another.  This lack of integrity cuts into the effectiveness of ministry.  Jesus confronted hypocrisy in the religious leaders of His day.  A whole chapter (Matt. 23), along with other isolated passages, is devoted to His pronouncement of woes on their hypocrisy.

Solution:  self-examination and personal accountability.

You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.  (Matt. 7:5)

Guard against being a stumbling block.  When we do not model Christ-likeness in all we do, we cut into the effectiveness of ministry.  Paul used his own ministry as an example:

We put no stumbling block in anyone’s path, so that our ministry will not be discredited.  (2 Cor. 6:3)

Solution:  commitment and determination.

Make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother’s way. (Rom. 14:13)

Notice:  The solutions are all qualities of being.  Doing the right things grows out of being who you should be.

For an example of how this works out in teaching, check out the article:  The Role of a Bible Teacher

4 thoughts on “Being Versus Doing: Which is most important in ministry?

  1. This is excellent material, reflective of obedience to our Lord’s command to study to show thy shelf approved. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Thank you, thank you, thank you. On Christmas day I remembered something someone once said to me, “To have a friend, you must be a friend.” My thought was, “How can you be a friend if you have not first had a friend.” On Christmas I began thinking about this again and thought, “We must own something before we can give it away. What is real love?—and how do we receive it? Real love is unconditional—giving, expecting nothing in return. Real love must be expressed in words and actions. To receive real love we must first hear the Word, then experience the Word as we think on the Word. Who is going to teach us the Word? John 14:26, 1 John 2:27.”

    Today after reading your email I am thinking on the two greatest commandments (disappointed with myself because I don’t remember where they are found). If I am having trouble BEING it is because I am not spending enough time KNOWING— LOVE. God is LOVE. I must first KNOW and receive LOVE with ALL my heart, ALL my soul, and with ALL my mind, before I can walk in Spirit and Truth. I must claim it. I must take possession of it. I must OWN it, then I can rejoice in giving it away. Praise God for that message.

    • What a wonderful Christmas present, Joyce, to be reminded anew of real love which we find in God who loved us so much that He sent Jesus. I like how you connected “BEING” to the greatest commandments, found in Matthew 22:35-40. I encourage you to also reflect on 1 John 4:16 — “And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. …” In addition to knowing about His love, we must receive it and rely on it for it to truly impact our very being.

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