Weatherford Democrat

Viewpoints

December 7, 2012

COLUMN: God's method for ministry

— “He (the Lord) bowed the heavens and came down; thick darkness was under His feet. He rode on a cherub and flew; He came swiftly on the wings of the wind. He made darkness His covering, His canopy around Him, thick clouds dark with water. Out of the brightness before Him hailstones and coals of fire broke through His clouds.” Psalm 18:9-12, ESV David wrote these words and through them painted a picture of the awesomeness of God. His description of God laid the foundation for the succeeding verses that declare God’s holy judgment! The true God whom David described will execute perfect justice.

As a pastor called by God and sent by the church to preach and teach His word and shepherd His people, I often ask, “How much of this God is really proclaimed in churches?” It has been said over the centuries by theologians and philosophers that man’s most basic need is to know God and oneself. Accurate knowledge of man proceeds from the revealed truth of God.

Knowing God and ourselves in relationship to Him connect our hearts to our heads. That is, making this connection motivates how we live. Ministry practices in the church begin with the revealed knowledge of God and continue as that knowledge is applied to all life situations.

The verses quoted are revealed truth. God is full of majesty. He is the one who created everything and therefore owns everything. All life is lived before Him. Therefore, it follows that all Christian ministry which is service is performed in light of and because of the knowledge of God.

On the occasion of my graduation from seminary our Commencement Speaker, Dr. J.I. Packer said, “Do not seek to interpret Scripture until you have been interpreted by Scripture.” As a minister of the gospel I am made constantly aware that my study and preparation to preach and teach the Bible is the means that God uses to change me. My conviction by the Spirit of God occurs prior to standing in the pulpit.

King David was living proof that God’s word in concert with His Spirit changed him. He wrote under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit about the God he worshiped. In the verses quoted from Psalm 18, David wrote not only of God’s supreme majesty but also of His holy justice. Like David, we all live before this God.

In addition, the book attributed to David’s son, Solomon, says this about God’s method for life and ministry, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Proverbs 1:7.

Both King David and Solomon understood the fear of the LORD and were caused see their lives in the light of God’s word. Likewise, as we combine God’s revelation of: His awesomeness, His holy justice with the source of knowledge and understanding we discover that “fear of the LORD” is the root of life and ministry in the church.

God revealed His method for ministry. His method is this: learn who He is and apply His revealed character in every situation. God’s method stands in stark contrast to Man’s. Men suggest that proper and effective ministry in the church requires that we learn what people need and then set out to meet those needs. This has proven to grow churches larger. Yet, growing numbers does not appear to accomplish growing influence, growing holiness, or the ability to make critical decisions. When we use man’s methods we get man’s results. But when we use God’s methods, we see His results.

One problem with man’s methods is: each new circumstance requires a new program to answer it. The church becomes a program generator rather than a place where the truth is heard, lived and shared. I believe that we are seeing the results of man’s methods. More and more professing Christians are unable to articulate what they believe or why. Surveys reveal that the lifestyles of church members look like the lifestyles of the world.   

My purpose in this article is not to “bash” churches. I love the church and all that she represents. I love the church so much that I believe that I am accountable to God to briefly outline His means to make us more like Christ. This is what it means to follow Jesus.

1
Text Only
Viewpoints
  • LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Concern for your pocketbooks

    Dear Editor: My message today is to Democrats out in Parker County and the middle class and moderate-income Republicans in towns and rural areas. 

    July 27, 2014

  • larry jones cropped:color NOW HEAR THIS: Taking care of your tools

    For much of my life I’ve heard the saying, “Take care of your tools, and your tools will take care of you.”  In our modern “throw away world” this has become much less important than it used to be, but down on the “pore farm,” tools still enjoy a prominent position in my daily life.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • PASTOR POPHIN: The greatest joy of all: Jesus

    The first part of this week was a joyous one for me. I took 10 youth to Lake Mineral Wells State Park for three days of day camping. Camp Adventure was the name of the camp. We discovered the joy of the One who created us: Jesus. I am sitting at my desk on the day after the camp writing this article. I am overjoyed by the events of the week, and yet I am physically exhausted. The Lord moved powerfully among our youth.

    July 26, 2014

  • LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Now is the time for all good men...

    When man’s greed, desire for riches, power and control of our nation become greater than their love of humanity and our country, by constantly fomenting discord and hate among the citizens, warmongering and constantly talking of wars against other nations - it is putting political ideology before the welfare of citizens and country. It is time for We the People to take a good look at these men involved - no matter their status in our nation, we call the United States of America and decide whether or not they deserve the privilege and sanctuary of our nation.

    July 25, 2014

  • tiscione, lou.jpg TISCIONE: Finding a church

    God commands His people to “keep holy the Sabbath Day.” The “Sabbath Day” was changed by the apostolic church to the first day, Sunday. The church refers to every Sunday as the Lord’s Day. Each Lord’s Day is a celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Therefore, a professing Christian will seek to find a local church in which to invest in the kingdom and worship the King! 

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • John Paul Carter-color.jpg NOTES FROM THE JOURNEY: What’s your current address?

    Shortly after we moved to Weatherford 19 years ago, the old post office (today’s Court Building) that was literally bursting at the seams was replaced by a new, larger facility – our present mail center that sometimes seems outgrown as we stand in line to buy stamps or mail a package.  

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Good company, better service

    We would like to thank Devin’s Handyman Service, Gary Boase, David Schramm and James Reed for the wonderful job they did repainting our front fence, front porch, back porch, patio and deck. Everything looks new and makes such a difference in our home.

    July 23, 2014

  • PASTOR POPHIN: The joy of unity in church

    Do you enjoy going to church? I mean, do you really enjoy going to church? No matter how you answer, there are some common reasons — or perhaps we would call them conditions — that would cause all of us to truly enjoy going to church. 

    July 20, 2014

  • LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Don't judge a book...

    Dear Editor: Thursday night, July 17, I was present for a surprisingly interesting experience when state representative candidate Matthew Britt addressed a small group of supporters, followed by a question and answer session.

    July 20, 2014

  • larry jones cropped:color NOW HEAR THIS: The blessing of memories

    Many years ago, shortly after I retired from the navy, I was sitting around shooting the breeze with my brother David, when he remarked that he regretted never serving in the military and experiencing the things I had seen. Like most of our farmer ancestors, he spent his entire life within five miles of where he grew up. Not unlike our parents, he could also count on the fingers of one hand the number of times he had even been out of the state of Texas and probably have digits to spare.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

Must Read
Top News
House Ads
AP Video
Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow