How to do effective ministry
Let’s take a look at how Jesus did ministry, by studying Luke 18:35-43.
As Jesus approached Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging. When he heard the crowd going by, he asked what was happening. They told him, “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.”He called out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Those who led the way rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”Jesus stopped and ordered the man to be brought to him. When he came near, Jesus asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?”
“Lord, I want to see,” he replied.
Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight; your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus, praising God. When all the people saw it, they also praised God.
We are all in situations where people around us could benefit from knowing Jesus, but they ignore Him, or from being healed by Jesus, but they don’t trust Him, or from seeing His activity in their trials more clearly, but they’re blind to it. We want to help them. We try to help them, but more often than not they refuse what we offer, right?
What can we learn from Jesus’ style of ministry?
1. Jesus did not zero in on the blind man and march over to him to tell him that He could be healed. The blind man had to go to Him. Jesus only did what He was already in the middle of doing — walking through town. We have to wait for others to come to us, rather than force our help upon them.
Because people were attracted to Jesus, the blind man heard the commotion and responded. In whatever you are normally doing, if you are so full of Jesus that people are attracted to you (eg., coming to you for help, or for prayer, or for encouragement, or for insight, or for friendship, etc.), the “blind” ones whom you want to help will take notice.
The moment that the blind man took the first step — calling out to Jesus — Jesus stopped what He was doing to give this man His full attention. Are you willing to take the time when the other person is ready? It won’t be on your time schedule that it happens. Ministry is rarely convenient. But it is in God’s perfect timing. He will make sure you are not hurt by the disruptions.
When the blind man “came close” to Jesus, that was when he heard the invitation to conversion. Our Lord asked the question that we all need to keep in our minds when ministering to others: “What do you want Me to do for you?” What is that person really ready for? What unmet need is he/she aware of, and how will God meet that need? The question is not: What do I know this guy needs?
2. Because the man asked Jesus for sight, he received his healing and his conversion. When Jesus pointed out that it was the man’s faith that had healed him, He affirmed his conversion. As we minister to others, after finding out what they are seeking from the Lord, we help them most effectively by affirming what God is already doing within them.
It’s impossible to make someone change. We can’t bring anyone except ourselves to repentance or healing or conversion. We don’t make ministry happen; we can only participate in the ministry God is already doing in the others’ lives. To be God’s minister, we must first tune in and notice where others are at on their journey of faith. Then we invite them to take the next step that God has planned. If we have not rushed ahead of where God is on their path, they will take that next step.
© 2001 by Terry A. Modica
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