To describe my passion in ministry, I’d have to talk about transformation. In my opinion transformation is the key aspect of any effective ministry. Put simply, when one comes to Christ he or she should then be transformed or changed by the power of the Holy Spirit into a more Christ-like person. Paul says this:
Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. – Romans 12:2 (NLT)
The world encourages us to do certain things, think certain ways, and believe certain viewpoints. But God wants us to set aside the ways of the world and focus on his ways. His ways include caring for the sick, poor and orphans. His ways include serving those who are in need. His ways include sharing the life-giving message of the gospel with others. His ways include prayer and Bible study. His ways include attending and participating in a local church.
Yet these values, “Kingdom Values” if you will, are not what the world teaches us. In order to truly follow Christ, we have to set aside the worldly values and focus on the Kingdom Values.
My passion in ministry, therefore, is to help people align more closely to the values of Jesus. Every time I share a message from God’s Word, I try to bring it to the point of, What am I going to do as a result of hearing this message? How should the truths being learned change me as a follower of Christ? What change do I need to make? If you can’t answer those questions, then I don’t think you have a very good message to share!
After all, we are supposed to become more like Christ. Therefore everything we do should help us along that goal. If we’re not working toward becoming more Christ-like, then we are not fully living the Christian life.
Personally, I feel that I have a long way to go toward living like Christ. There are characteristics of my personality, behaviors and thoughts that keep me from hitting the mark. I have to pray about those things and ask the Holy Spirit to do his work in me. But in the same breath that I’m lamenting my lack of progress, I can look back and see real progress throughout my life. Seeing that progress, however, does not cause me to sit back and feel proud – rather, it encourages me to keep moving forward.
While becoming more like Christ may seem at times like a losing battle, it is helpful to know that my battles in these areas are not conditions for my salvation. My salvation in Christ is secured by his death, burial and resurrection. I am still a sinful person, and the only chance I have is to rely on Jesus’ grace that was given to me through his work on the cross. That same grace is available to all who ask.
So if you’re struggling with transformation, don’t be discouraged. God loves you the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. Through prayer, Bible study and perseverance, you can live a life more like Christ. Transformation is never easy, but it is a necessary part of following Jesus.