Perspective on Mission and Ministry
Is ministry (or mission) an event or something more? The writer of Hebrews tells us:
Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.
We think of race as an event and it is. But in this verse it signifies our lives. From eternity’s perspective a 70-80 year life would look like a short event. But viewing ministry and mission as the whole of our lives moves us beyond the mindset of an event. So what is mission and ministry?
Think in terms of a continuum. Or think of the race in Hebrews 12 as a relay race. Someone else ministered before me and others will minister after me. Right now is my turn for ministry.
Another valuable perspective is a stream or river. Mission and ministry flow constantly on until the return of Christ. My mission or ministry is just a short stretch of the river. How does this help you?
Purpose in Mission and Ministry
We are in Samana this week. Our work opens a new ministry point for Rivers of the World. The mission team is from one church in Huntsville, In my remarks to the host congregation this morning I said I was glad to have the opportunity to bring churches together to do the work of the ministry. Both churches have a history.
The church in Samana has been a Gospel witness for 191 years. A large sign on the church wall notes that long history. Into that history comes ROW. That will bring many more churches into this stream of ministry and mission.
The pastors’ school that will begin here this week will touch many other churches in this area. Equipping the pastors enables them to minister more effectively in their communities. How far into the future will our efforts reach? Only God knows. But I think it’s safe to say it will reach beyond most of our lifetimes. And that would be something consistent with:
Lay up for yourselves treasure in Heaven where moth and rust does not corrupt and thieves do not break in and steal.
And what is the purpose in the race? What is the purpose in the stream of ministry? It is always to glorify God and cause his Kingdom to expand. You may recall some famous words along that line:
Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.
Seeking God’s glory is the key to success in every mission. To be clear, I am not just talking about the missions I lead. Think about running the race in these missions:
I think you get the idea. Whatever the mission, it’s going to go better if it has a life perspective and God’s glory for its purpose. Think about it!