Guard Your Motives in Ministry

Paul wrote to the church in Thessaloniki about their motivation to do ministry. He said this in chapter 2, verse 3-6:

For the appeal we make does not spring from error or impure motives, nor are we trying to trick you. On the contrary, we speak as those approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel. We are not trying to please people but God, who tests our hearts. You know we never used flattery, nor did we put on a mask to cover up greed—God is our witness.We were not looking for praise from people, not from you or anyone else, even though as apostles of Christ we could have asserted our authority.

Paul reminds the Thessalonians of his ministry among them. Having come out of a bad situation in Philippi where he was arrested, he remained bold in his proclamation of the gospel.

He proclaimed the gospel without error, impurity or deception.  Integrity was high on Paul’s list of desired character traits. He taught the truth, for their good, not his, with no need to trick them into the kingdom. When you trust the power of the gospel you neither need nor want to resort to tricks or shortcuts.

Paul was seeking only God’s approval, not men. His employer was God. He was beholden only to Him. He had only Him to please. This gave him the freedom to speak truth without worry about the response.

Paul spoke without flattery or greed. Because he was dependent only on God the Father, he did not attempt to manipulate his audience. He didn’t need to win their approval to gain big offerings. He trust the Lord to meet his needs.

He was intent on sharing the gospel without seeking personal glory. Paul had no need for fame. He had already been famous and that had left him empty and without hope.

So now we must ask the question: Why are you doing this? What is your motive? What, if anything, are you hoping to get from this? Watch out for the ministry traps found in bad motivations:

  • Seeking approval, compliments, “amen” from the crowd
  • Manipulating emotions to gain influence
  • Attempting to build your own kingdom in the church
  • Jealousy of others, trying to be just as popular as someone else or some other ministry
  • Shocking to be shocking
  • Rebelling to draw the rebellious

The gospel is sufficient. God’s Word is powerful enough. The Holy Spirit convicts the heart. The Father is trustworthy.

Mission Central Podcast – What is the Role of the Pastor?

In this final installment looking at the role of the pastor we examine the God designed responsibility of the pastor. Growing churches call a pastor to administer and lead the church so the members are free to do ministry. Dying churches call a pastor to do the ministry while the people administer the church.

Mission Central Podcast

Here are some key points from this episode:

  • The pastor equips the members to do the work of ministry.
  • Pastors are not exempt from the work of the ministry.
  • Members in ministry results in growth for the church.
  • Pray for your pastor.

“Mission Central” is available on iTunes, search podcasts for Mission Central.
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Mission Central Podcast – What is “The Call”?

As we continue looking at the role of the pastor I advocate for a high view of the pastorate. It’s important that we understand God’s calling in general to ministry and His calling to a specific church. A church doesn’t hire a pastor. A church agrees with the pastor that God has called him to that specific church.

Mission Central Podcast

Here are some key points from this episode:

  • God issues a general call for some to enter into vocational ministry.
  • God calls specific men to pastor specific churches.
  • A church doesn’t hire a pastor.
  • Life is too short to be a member of a church where you fundamentally disagree with the leadership.

“Mission Central” is available on iTunes, search podcasts for Mission Central.
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Mission Central Podcast – Support Your Pastor

In this episode we begin an examination of the role of the pastor in a local church. This is a message I preached as an interim pastor at a local church about to call their new pastor. Pastors are gifts to the local church and should be valued, loved, supported and encouraged as such. Even though the world no longer values the position of pastor, this should never be the case in the local church.

Mission Central Podcast

Here are some key points from this episode:

  • Christ has given people to the church as gifts.
  • The pastor/teacher role is a gift to the church from Christ.
  • The role of pastor is clearly defined in the New Testament.

“Mission Central” is available on iTunes, search podcasts for Mission Central.
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Mission Central Podcast – Unity and Revival

Unity is more important than your pride and your agenda. Unity is more important than your tradition and your comfort. Unity is more important than your desire to avoid conflict. In summary, Unity is more important than you. So let’s work together to build unity and protect the unity of the church.

Mission Central Podcast

Here are some key points from this episode:

  • Every member of the church is responsible for the unity of the church.
  • Unity is directly related to evangelistic success.
  • When you decide the unity of the church is important, revival won’t be far behind.

“Mission Central” is available on iTunes, search podcasts for Mission Central.
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Mission Central Podcast – How You Can Help Preserve the Unity in Your Church

There are things we can do to help preserve unity and things we can do to harm unity. Today we begin to look at a list of these actions we can take and attitudes we can have. Everyone in the church is responsible to walk in a way that builds unity in the church. Listen to the list and see how you are doing.

Mission Central Podcast

Things we can do to HELP or HARM unity in our churches:
Putting others first                             Being Selfish or Self-Centered
Generous                                          Stingy
Communicate                                   Hold Secret Meetings
Talk face-to-face                               Talk behind the back
Be Gentle                                          Be Harsh
Forgive                                              Hold Grudges
Ask Forgiveness                               Hard Hearted
Be Gracious                                     Be Demanding
Truth in Love                                    Truth in Anger
Confront Church Bullies                   Give in to Troublemakers
Encourage Others                            Frustrate Others
Optimism                                         Pessimism
Work                                                Complain
Look Outward                                  Look Inward
Look Forward                                  Look Backward
Support Leadership                         Undermine Leadership
Repent                                            Make Excuses

“Mission Central” is available on iTunes, search podcasts for Mission Central.
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Mission Central Podcast – Unity must be Protected

Talking about unity is one of the most important discussions we can have regarding the life and effectiveness of the church. At some point the unity of the church will be challenged. People will act in ways to harm unity, sometimes by accident, sometimes on purpose. We must adopt actions and attitudes to protect the unity of the church.

Mission Central Podcast

Here are the key points from this episode:

  • Always emphasize humility and gentleness.
  • Be gracious to others as you want them to be gracious to you
  • Forgive – Most problems would be healed by freely giving forgiveness as it has been given to us.

“Mission Central” is available on iTunes, search podcasts for Mission Central.
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Mission Central Podcast – Unity is God’s Work

Thom Rainer of Lifeway says that one of the greatest sicknesses in our churches in America is disunity. The #1 reason pastors leave the church is that they are worn out from conflict. The church must be unified. The only way this can happen is for the church to follow God’s design and yield to His leadership.

Mission Central Podcast

Here are the key points from this episode:

  • Unity in the church is always under attack by the enemy
  • Unity is only possible because of the work of God
  • There is no escape from the demand for unity
  • We must not seek “peace at any cost”

“Mission Central” is available on iTunes, search podcasts for Mission Central.
You can subscribe to receive each new addition in your inbox.