I Know Your Ministry

What is your ministry?

God has given you a ministry, and, because of 2 Corinthians 5, I know what it is. 

I don’t have to know you, and I don’t even need to know your gifts and talents. 

I can confidently tell you what your ministry should be.

What is your ministry? 

I’ve always answered that question by saying, “I am a Bible teacher.” 

But I don’t see that as my ministry any longer. Teaching is how I usually accomplish my ministry. The apostle Paul defined my ministry and yours in 2 Corinthians 5:18. 

Paul said God has given us “the ministry of reconciliation.”  

Paul was teaching the Christians in the Corinthian church how they should view his ministry and their own: as a ministry of reconciliation. Every person in this world should be viewed with one important distinction: that person is a child of God, or needs to be. 

Every other distinction is regarding them “according to the flesh” (2 Corinthians 5:16).  

Your ministry is to help other people be reconciled to a right relationship with their heavenly Father. 

You accomplish that ministry when you have that relationship yourself. 

If you want to please God . . .  

We want to please God, but why does it often seem to be a huge puzzle? 

Scripture clearly tells us how to please God. Second Corinthians 5:11 says, “Knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade others.” That is the ministry of reconciliation. 

We don’t necessarily please God when we serve, give, do, go, say, attend, study, share, preach, teach, sacrifice, etc. We don’t necessarily displease God when we don’t.  

We please God when we live in a reconciled relationship with him. When we are close to God, it is much easier to be godly and live out his holy directives.  

When we are reconciled to God, we see people like God sees them. We speak the words he wants us to say. We have his peace, his joy, his grace, and his love. 

When we are close to God, he gives us the ministry of reconciliation. Others will be persuaded to know God because they witness our relationship with him. 

We don’t please God because of what we choose to do. Our ministry is not doing works to please him. We please him because he is able to do works of ministry through us, and that pleases him.  

A reconciled relationship accomplishes the ministry of reconciliation. We know God, then we share that knowledge with others—and that is how they are persuaded to know God for themselves. 

It really is that simple. 

The church that pleases God 

I’m convinced that many of the problems that exist in our culture and our churches could be resolved by understanding and living what Paul taught Corinth. What is the purpose of any and every fellowship of Christians?  

To be a body of believers, reconciled to God and therefore able to persuade others. 

So many churches are focused on pleasing its members rather than pleasing God. Does your church spend more effort on persuading people to be reconciled to God—or to each other? 

The right priority will lead to the next. 

Is your church spending substantial time and money persuading other Christians to join their institution or is the priority to persuade people to join their lives with God?  

The church that pleases God will exist for the sake of the people who are outside of its walls. Sunday morning should help restore people to a right relationship with God so they can accomplish their ministry and help others be reconciled to God. 

Give away your treasure 

The news about the stock market has not been positive lately. But, people who know what they are doing will move funds, reinvest, and might even be better off in the long run. That same thing is true with the spiritual treasure you have been given. 

Every Christian has been given an incredible gift through God’s Holy Spirit: we have been given the knowledge of God (2 Corinthians 4:6). Paul calls that knowledge a treasure we keep in jars of clay, i.e., our human bodies. 

Because we know God, we are called to please him (2 Corinthians 5:9). How do we please God? We give away our treasure: “We persuade others (2 Corinthians 5:11). 

Give your treasure to other people and you will be reinvesting it in heaven, just like some have saved their money by reinvesting in other stocks.  

Paul would tell us to move our treasure from the “tent” and reinvest it in our mansions. The “stuff” of this world has a volatile future. Heaven is a safe investment every time. 

A. W. Tozer, an American pastor and author said, “It is not what a man does that determines whether his work is sacred or secular, it is why he does it.”  

Be reconciled to God and you will accomplish your ministry for all the right reasons and invest in your life eternal. 

It really is that simple.