Christ-like Ministry

Christ-like Ministry: John 14:10-12 (5:17-20)
This word is for people who serve the church as “professional ministers.” I have been doing “professional ministry” for 34 years. I am wondering how much of that ministry was really Christ-like ministry. Did I do it with the attitude and character of Christ? Did I do it with the power of Christ? Did I do it with the anointing of the Holy Spirit like Christ? Did I do it with delegated authority from Christ? How much ministry was my own ineffective effort? How much ministry was rendered ineffective by my own sin? Did I do ministry according to my own desires or did I submit to the Father’s works through me?
Every believer, but especially all of us “professional ministers” will have to wait until Christ’s evaluation. How much ministry will stand the test of Christ’s fire? (See 1 Corinthians 3:10-15; 2 Corinthians 5:10.) My biblical sermons have been critiqued according to someone’s opinion and seminary preaching class (i.e., 3 points and a poem). My ministry has been evaluated by church members with a detailed questionnaire. (I wonder how church members would evaluate Christ if he was their pastor? Would he live up to their expectations?) Paul said being evaluated by people was a “small matter” or of the “least consequence.” The evaluation that matters most will come from Christ (1 Corinthians 4:1-5). Any evaluation of a “professional minister” should be evaluated by Christ-like ministry. Go to the Gospels to define Christ-like ministry. Does the pastor have compassion for suffering people like Christ? Is the pastor teaching with authority like Christ? Is the pastor training a small group of people to do Christ-like ministry? Is the pastor using delegated authority to proclaim the kingdom of God, heal the sick and cast out demons? Does the pastor confront false religiosity in the church? (Note: Jesus confronted the false religiosity of his time. The religious leaders of Israel, the Pharisees and Sadducees, had a harshly negative evaluation of Christ’s ministry! They hated Christ’s claims and the “works” that verified his claims so much they murdered him.)
The real concern is “Am I doing Christ-like ministry?”
The key to Christ-like ministry is obedient submission. The proper attitude for ministry is not “What can I do for God?” but “What can God do through me?” “What I can do for God” is an honorable attitude born out of gratitude, but not a correct understanding of how ministry becomes effective. “What I can do for God” may lead to a self-sufficient spirit and the trap of pride. (Could this be one reason some pastors fall into sexual sin? Proverbs 16:18.) “What God can do through me” comes from an attitude of submission and obedience. Ministry becomes empowered by the Spirit and accomplishes the Father’s purpose when it is done with a Christ-like attitude. This is becoming like Christ in ministry.
Here are a few verses stitched together to show Jesus’ relationship with the Father and how he described His ministry. “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise. For the Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing. And greater works than these will he show him, so that you may marvel (5:19-20). I and the Father are one (10:30). Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else believe on account of the works themselves. (14:10-12). And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father’s who sent me (v. 24b).”
My paraphrase: Jesus said, “I and the Father are one. I only speak what I hear the Father speaking. I only do what I see the Father doing. So, if you want to know the Father then hear what He is speaking through Me and look at what He is doing through Me.” Jesus the Son offered perfect submission and obedience to the Father. Therefore, the Father did his works through the Son.
Here is a hard ministry prayer: “Father, I offer submission and obedience. I yield to Your purpose and plan today. Let me hear what You are speaking. Show me what You are doing. Do Your work through my life. Not what I want, but Your will be done.”

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