Everybody has a particular way of thinking of which they base their life off of and a reason for their actions. More specifically speaking, in regards to one’s ministry there is a philosophy that they follow whether one is aware of it or not. I think it is very important to evaluate your own philosophy of ministry to obtain information and valuable insight to maintain that philosophy and see where improvement could take place. In this post, I will be discussing my philosophy of ministry and what I believe that fuels my fundamental way of thinking. Everything I do, I want to point to my almighty Creator and to live a life a part from Him would be foolish. My philosophy of ministry will evaluate my calling into the ministry and asses the different aspects that come into play when one goes into the ministry. My goal in this post is to always be Jesus driven in a flesh driven world. I am on a pursuit of Christ and thinking thoroughly about my desire to be in the ministry is something of utmost importance and has helped me prepare myself for what is expected.
My Philosophy of Ministry
Several years ago I was standing at a crossroads. I could get a degree in business or I could skip education all together and pray God sends me a husband (one that makes decent money so I could be a homemaker). I knew in my heart that I desire most to be a wife and mother, but as life has run its course, that has yet to be fulfilled. Relationship after relationship failed, as did my career paths, and something needed to change. I was living for myself and viewed the church as a place where I sought to get what I could out of it. Instead of wringing myself out for Jesus and others, I was chasing after desires of the flesh and was only concerned about being successful in the worldly realms. Growing up in a God-fearing home, I knew that something was missing, and that He was tugging on my heart. It wasn’t until I was faced with several life altering trials that I had my “come to Jesus” moment. I didn’t understand why God was taking me where I never thought I would have to go. Angry and desperate to hold onto something I would never lose, I needed something that satisfied my soul beyond what this world could give. I was sitting in church one Sunday and something suddenly clicked. The convictions of the Holy spirit were so strong I could not dismiss them. I knew at that moment that this was indeed my home- where I needed to be. That was the start of my call into the ministry. Nothing else had made sense up until that point of where God had wanted me to be. I knew that without a doubt that the church is where I belong, and that conviction has only increased as the days go by.
Evaluating my philosophy of ministry will help me assess my call into the ministry. It will serve as a guide for me and help me see areas of my life that need improvements. Having a philosophy of ministry will be beneficial in my walk with Christ and will be the basis of my calling in furthering the Kingdom of the Lord. One of the reasons as to why I want to be in the ministry and feel a calling into the local church is because I know that there are a lot of churches that need revival. Many churches are not concerned with having sound doctrine, reaching the needy, and truly keeping Christ the center of their preaching. Charles Spurgeon said, “we shall never see much change for the better in our churches in general till the prayer meeting occupies a higher place in the esteem of Christians” and I love this quote (Spurgeon, 2009). The church is made up of the people who are in it. It is of utmost importance to make sure that as followers of Christ we are more concerned with things that have heavenly consequences than things that are flesh driven and of this world. I don’t necessarily want to serve in a “perfect” church; I want to make an impact on people and point them towards Christ.
My main goal in the ministry would be to serve others like Jesus while preaching the Gospel to them. In everything I do, I want to point others to the Savior who loved us so much He died for us. I want to go to seminary school and take courses in biblical theology. After getting my Master’s in biblical theology, I could see myself going into Christian counseling and ministering to others in that way. I don’t have it all figured out right now, being 21, but I know wherever God calls, I am ready to go.
I know that there will be many obstacles in my calling into the ministry. James 1:2-4 states that Christians must consider it pure joy when they face trials of many kinds because they know that the testing of those trials will produce perseverance, that Christians might be lacking in nothing. By following Christ, I am choosing to go through pain, but I can be encouraged and reminded that the eternal glory being revealed in me is much greater than the trials (Romans 8:18). I think one of my main obstacles will be people who are offended by the Gospel. I am not discouraged because I too, used to be offended by the Gospel. God changed me, and now when my life offends the Gospel I can call upon the name of the Lord and He forgives me of my iniquity. I think the Gospel should be used to wound people, but in a loving way. I love how the gospel is used to comfort the afflicted and to afflict the comfortable (1 Thessalonians 3:7 and 2 Corinthians 1:4). This is a reminder that when I get comfortable and complacent in life, I must remember the Good News and use that to put me outside my comfort zone. I am also encouraged to die to myself and fleshly desires.
I am a Sanguine when it comes to temperament. This means that I can be very outgoing, friendly, talkative, easy to get along with, and creative. Although I do consider myself as more of an introvert at times, I believe I can use my social skills as an important asset in my call into the ministry. I am very much an introspective person who internalizes everything. This means that I contemplate a lot over things and think them through very thoroughly. I am kind of a paradox though because I also make decisions very quickly without thinking at all. I feel like this makes me versatile though and able to relate to a broader spectrum of people. I am also a realistic person and sometimes can be stubborn. In the ministry, I know that my cheerful attitude will encourage people and sharing my experiences in life will help others who have been through adversity too.
When it comes to Biblical ethics, I believe that the Scriptures are the highest authority (2 Peter 1:20-21). We must follow what the Word of God says as He takes us on our journey of sanctification. I know the Bible has a lot of areas that are gray, but when it comes to what the Bible clearly states and commands, black and white, doing anything apart from that would be sinful. I was raised in a God-fearing, Christian home, which I am eternally grateful for. I am a sinner saved by grace and know that the Christian life is a life of continual repentance. I went to a private Christian school for most of my life until I got to high school. I was raised Southern Baptist, but as I am learning more about theology and have been studying the Scriptures more, I have come to know the doctrines of Grace, and left the Arminian ways of thinking and beliefs and now I am reformed. I believe the biblical principle of the Five Solas is essential to the doctrine of salvation. I believe that I am saved by grace alone through faith alone (Ephesians 2:8). Since I hold Scripture as highest authority, I believe that it is only through Christ alone that I am saved from eternal separation from God (Hebrews 7:25 and Acts 4:12). Because Jesus paid the atonement for my sins, I am called to live a life that brings honor and glory to God (1 Corinthians 10:31). There is nothing I have done or could ever do to earn the grace of God. Christ has paid the ransom for my sins and now I will live to glorify God at all costs. Being newly Calvinist has been life-altering, but I know that theology fueled with passion for Jesus is what the church needs. I have a passion for Jesus and want to share the Gospel with everyone I can.
My Personal Life Statement
Honestly, my personal life statement is that which is described in the Westminster Shorter Catechism, “To glorify God and to enjoy Him forever” (2011). By living a life of holiness, forsaking all things of this world, I will glorify God. I agree that having a relationship with God is meant to be enjoyed. After all, God pursued us first and sought a relationship with us, how awesome is that!
My core values are what I base how I live my life off of. My actions will follow that of a believer in Christ, depicted in the Word of God. The Bible is my authority and tells me what is right or wrong. I want to become more like Jesus in all that I do, and having values apart from the Bible would be devastating to my growth and sanctification process. I will do everything I can to stay away from worldly values.
My Life-Long Learning Plan
Just like Jesus did in the Scriptures, I want to learn as much as I can about the Bible and about God. Jesus pursued knowledge and I want to do the same. I believe it is important to know as much as I can about the Scriptures so that I can be credible and knowledgeable to people when they ask me questions about it. I can use what I know and learn about in the Bible to help guide others to Christ and further His Kingdom. Some of the steps I will take in my journey to learning include the following:
- Get my bachelor’s degree in Christian Ministry
- After getting my bachelors I will pursue further education by going to seminary school
- I will continue to read books about theology and continue writing on my blog about Jesus and my sanctification process
- I will write a book getting my masters at seminary school
Some obstacles that I might have when completing these goals include:
- Time management will be difficult for me because I work and go to school and have bills to pay
- Seminary school will require money, so I will need to save enough money for that
- Reading requires time and so it will take a lot of discipline to set aside time for my enjoyment of reading and studying on my own
- I want to be married and have kids someday and so I am sure that will change a lot of these plans
I am a strong advocate for accountability partners. The Bible encourages having people that can keep Christians accountable in their walks with the Lord. When I have someone who keeps me accountable it makes it easier when facing trials because I know I have someone or a group of people that are there to help and encourage me. They will be friends who wound me, but in a loving way. It is great to have other people who disciple me in my walk with Christ, and from personal experience, having someone call me out on my sins is very humbling. It is important to be held accountable and to hold other followers accountable, I believe it is our duty as Christians to fulfill that.
I really enjoyed evaluating my philosophy of ministry. I think a lot of people go into the ministry without having that direct call from God and that can be devastating. I used to be worried that I was only getting a degree in Christian ministry because I felt like I had to in order to grow in my relationship Christ. Upon deeply looking at my fundamental beliefs I am now convinced that I am solely pursuing this degree to bring glory to Christ alone. He has instilled in me a passion for knowledge and I am so thankful for that. I am so excited to begin this journey being called into the ministry and I am so thankful that I serve a loving God who is with me the whole way. I know that we love because He loved us first and I don’t need to get a degree in Christian ministry or go to seminary to deepen my relationship with God. He called me into the ministry and gaining more knowledge through education is one way I can equip myself for what He has called me to do. God is so good!