When talking about ministry objectives we must consider what matters most to God. While we find many of His priorities throughout Scripture that we can turn into objectives, we’ll concentrate on that which Jesus identified as the Greatest Commandments since He said, “All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments” (Matt. 22:40).
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. (Matt. 22:37-39)
Ministry Objectives That Aim at What Matters Most to God
If we break down Jesus’ words in Matthew 22:37-39, we can pull out these six objectives for ministry so we aim at what matters most to God.
- We must always make sure we keep God first in ministry, not the ministry itself or the people we serve.
It is the Lord we are to love with all of who we are. If we aren’t careful, though, we can get so busy doing all the right things but lose that first love. We can become people-pleasers, yielding to what they want ahead of God’s desires. Putting anything above God, including ministry, becomes idolatry.
- Loving God the Top Priority in Your Church?
- Ministry About God, Not Us
- Need to Change Your Thinking about the Christian Life?
- Our Greatest Purpose in Life Made Clear by Jesus
- Ministry should be about loving God and others, not mere activity.
As we read in 1 Corinthians 13:1-3, all of our activities, no matter how good they may seem, mean little and gain nothing without love.
- Our objective for ourselves and for those we serve should be that we become more fully devoted followers of Jesus who love God with ALL of who we are.
Our discipleship efforts, consequently, must go beyond mere outreach to shepherding those who put their trust in Him to “obey everything I (Jesus) have commanded you” (Matt. 28:18-20), the Greatest Commandment being to love God with ALL our heart, soul, mind, and strength.
- A Holistic Approach in Ministry
- Ministry Objective: Not Mere Knowledge
- Outcome of Strategic Planning
- Priority of the Great Commission
- We must aim for inward change, not mere external conformity.
So often ministry targets what people do, external conformity, over internal transformation, probably because it’s easier to measure. However, the qualifications Jesus put on how we are to love God include not just what we do (strength) but also our heart (what’s inside like motives, attitudes), soul (who we are, our psyche, such as our character), and mind (how we think which includes our worldview or philosophy of life and belief systems). The Gospel of Matthew doesn’t even include the word “strength” (ischys in the Greek) as Mark and Luke do.
- Churches, We Don’t Need to Compete with the World!
- Ministry Objective: Not Mere External Conformity
- Why Don’t We Get That It’s About the Heart?
- Quick Solutions or Real Change?
- Requisites for Real Change over Quick Solutions
- People should always matter more than our programs, technology, and methodology.
Love for God spills over into love for people. Jesus prioritized loving people as the second greatest commandment, next to loving Him. Consequently, programs, technology, and methodology must always be seen as tools, not as the end. When it’s about loving people, we no longer do what we do to impress people but to build them up. When it’s about loving God and people, we no longer need it to be about our agenda or who is right and wrong but rather, being one in our Lord.
- Ministry Objective: Not Mere Management
- The Great Commission’s Focus is Not on Programs
- Trying to Attract People to Your Church by What You Offer?
- Trying to Make a Good Impression?
- Who is Your Church Targeting?
- To be the servants God wants us to be, we must also guard our own hearts and nurture that love for God and people within ourselves.
When Jesus said to love our neighbor, He added “as yourself” requiring that ministry must include our own soul-care. Even Jesus went apart to spend time alone with the Father. What happens in our own hearts is a key element in serving (Deut. 6:7-9). We cannot neglect ourselves and expect to have effective ministry.