The Key to Ministry and Life Expansion
Comment: This post was originally posted on The Meeting Place TMP
Years ago, I remember going to a conference and hearing some of my personal heros speak. I remember being so moved by their lives. Multiple times throughout the conference, tears came to my eyes as God spoke to me through these speakers. Inspired by these men and women, I remember praying, “God, would you use me for your glory? Take my life and use it however You please.”
Since then, I have admired and wondered at Christians who are truly making an impact for the Lord, regardless of their sphere of influence. It has become a personal journey to discover why and how God powerfully uses and blesses these brothers and sisters.
What is the secret? What is the key to ministry and life expansion? How does one grow and increase in Kingdom influence? What have these great men and women of God done to grow in such favor in the eyes of God and man?
The key is stewardship. Whether you are in vocational ministry or work a secular job, your path to increase in Kingdom influence is faithfulness. Heaven’s currency flows through faithfulness.
Many people forget that God actually rewards people. The logical question is: who exactly does he reward? He rewards faithful people. Not gifted and talented people, but faithful people. When God sees an individual who is faithful with little, He knows this person can be entrusted with more. “Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master” (Matthew 25:23). Faithfulness with small responsibilities is an indicator that this individual will be faithful with bigger things. Likewise, unfaithfulness with small things, is also an indicator that this person will be unfaithful with bigger things. “One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much” (Luke 16:10).
These are the very words of Jesus, “One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much.” When God sees that we are stewarding who and what He has placed in front of us, He begins to increase our responsibilities. However, it is important to know God always starts small. Nothing in the Kingdom happens over night. Nothing. God never rushes the development of His servants. Thus, God gives each person something small to steward and, over time, prolonged faithfulness will expand the ministry and life of God’s servants.
So what does this look like? What does faithfulness look like?
Faithfulness is to give your absolute best to the things and people that God has placed right in front of you. We are often tempted to look to our future. We are tempted to dwell to our past. We are even tempted to want someone else’s life and career. However, in reality, God has placed you exactly where you are for a reason. God is testing to see how faithful you will be with what He has placed right in front of you.
Furthermore, make sure to steward your calling over your opportunities. Many people are always looking for the next opportunity, next big thing, the next big movement. However, ask yourself: what has God placed in my life to be responsible for? Rather than looking for newer and bigger opportunities, ask yourself, “What responsibilities has God placed in my life? Who has God specifically placed in my life to love and serve?”
There have been times in my life where big opportunities were presented to me. Recently, I was asked to join the staff of a wonderful church with considerable influence. I was so surprised they would reach out to me at a pivotal time in my life. The salary was great. I deeply respected and admired the senior pastor. This felt like the opportunity of a lifetime. Yet, whenever I prayed, the Holy Spirit kept putting on my heart, “Steward what I am already doing in your life.” My wife and I fasted and prayed seeking God’s wisdom and guidance. At the end of the day the question was: do I follow this great opportunity or do I steward what He has already placed in my life?
I decided to decline the offer to steward the people and ministry that God has already put in my life. I will never know for sure whether I made the right decision, but my heart’s desire was to follow this same principle: stewardship.
To one who is faithful and to one who endures, God expands their capacity and ability to serve Him on a wider scale. This morning I want to leave you with a few questions to help us discern what God has called you to be faithful with:
Who has God called me to serve/lead? Try to be specific to the group of people He has called you to serve.
What things and responsibilities has God placed in my hands for me to steward?
What temptations are around me that prevent me from being faithful?