One of the teaching methods I’ve used is the Agree/Disagree Statement. I choose a statement that can be looked at in more than one way and ask students if they agree or disagree. This method often generates some lively discussions. Maximizing your ministry is one of those issues I could easily turn into an agree/disagree statement, saying something like
“Maximizing your ministry is biblical.
Agree or disagree?”
Here’s how I could disagree with that statement:
If by that statement you are looking at self-effort, getting all you can out of it for self-glory, self-promotion or self-actualization, then it is a worldly perspective and I would have to most definitely say, “I disagree.” God’s Word is filled with verses about how it needs to be God’s power at work in and through us to HIS glory if what we do is going to count for eternity. Here is a sampling of verses:
I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. (Jn. 15:5)
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. (Phil. 2:3)
“… for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose. (Phil. 2:13)
May the God of peace … equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. (Heb. 13:20-21)
His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. (2 Pet. 1:3)
Here’s how I could agree with that statement:
If by that statement you are suggesting the need to plan, be diligent, and work toward excellence in ministry, to make the most of your time and resources in it, I would have to say, “I agree.” God’s Word is filled with verses about giving God our best and being faithful stewards of what He has given us. Here is a sampling of verses:
So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. (1 Cor. 10:31)
… so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, … (Phil. 1:10)
… if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things. (Phil. 4:8)
Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms. (1 Pet. 4:10)
Look at the Whole Counsel of God to Reconcile the Concept of Maximizing Ministry
When we look at the whole counsel of God, as in both sets of Scripture listed above, we must conclude that we are to do our best, to maximize our efforts, but to do so in the grace and power of the Almighty God. The Apostle Paul said, “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them (He maximized his ministry efforts.) – yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me” (1 Cor. 15:10). The last phrase of that verse is the key.
God is in the business of maximizing ministry … beyond what we would ever think:
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. (Eph. 3:20-21)
Based on this perspective, let me ask: Is your church reaching maximum effectiveness?