Essentials of Ministry

“Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain Who build it…”  Psalm 127:1a
The desire to accomplish a work for the Lord is natural when we accept Christ Jesus as our Savior and Lord.  Too often in our zeal, we forget the essentials needed for effective ministry.  A carpenter needs the proper tools to do his work.  The same is true of a Christian desiring to complete their God-given assignment.
Jesus told His disciples, “You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain.”  (John 15:16).  Wow!  That is a powerful order for each of us.  Jesus would not ask us to bear lasting fruit if it were not possible.  What are the essentials of ministry that will allow us to bear fruit that will remain?
The Prophet Ezekiel had a very hard assignment from God.  He was to preach and prophesy against the Land of Israel (Ezekiel 21:2).  God told Ezekiel, “Son of man, you dwell in the midst of a rebellious house, which has eyes to see but does not see, and ears to hear but does not hear; for they are a rebellious house” (Ezekiel 12:2).  Some of our assignments may be just as difficult as that of the Prophet Ezekiel.  What was necessary for Ezekiel will also be necessary for each of us.  I have picked out the essentials of ministry provided Ezekiel from chapters 1, 2, and 3 of Ezekiel.
  1.  “The Word of the Lord came expressly to Ezekiel the priest”(1:3).  Before we start our ministry, we need a sure word from the Lord.
  2.  “the hand of the Lord was upon him there” (1:3). Accepting the Word of the Lord clears the way for God to place His hand upon His servant.
  3. “the Spirit entered me when He spoke to me, and set me on my feet, and I heard Him who spoke to me” (2:2). Jesus states:  “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing.  The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life” (John 6:63)As we allow the Word of God to be our guide in ministry, we can be assure of operating by the Spirit of God.
  4. “He said to me… I am sending you to the children of Israel, to a rebellious nation that has rebelled against Me” (2:3).  Our ministry should take place where God has sent us.   Difficult ministry is no reason to fear or run away.  Our confidence comes from our obedience to God. 
In summary, it is the assurance that God has called us to our area of ministry that will enable us to stand in adversity.  We must have a sure word from the Lord.  Whatever our spiritual gifts, we must immerse ourselves in the Word, which is Spirit.  We need God’s hand upon us if our fruit is to remain.  Remember you are chosen for fruitfulness.