By Dr. Francis Akin-John
This whole thing is quite simple to understand, yet it is also complex in a sense, because there are many parallels and levels involved. I will try to touch some of these things.
Numbers ARE important in a sense because each number stands for a human being with an eternal soul that Jesus died to save. From THAT viewpoint, yes, numbers are important. But numbers should never be taken to reflect God’s approval or validity of our call. Numbers are not the Litmus Test of a man of God, but Faithfulness is!
The Bible says in John 3:27 “A man can receive nothing, ex-cept it be given him from hea-ven”.
We can only receive that which God chooses to bestow upon us. This would mean that in-stead of striving for the worldly standards of numbers and su-ccess in ministry, we should stri-ve towards Faithfulness, and to grow in Faith and walk in His Presence.
At the same time we should study the Word of God, diligent to be ever-learning and improving ourselves and skills in ministry, spending time in prayer, doing everything we can to improve ourselves. Even if God sends us to minister in a small place to a small number of people, we should give our-selves to being the best that we can.
II Timothy 2:15 says “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who doesn’t need to be ashamed, correctly teaching the word of truth”.
Just because God sends us to a small place, does not mean that we should be mediocre, or serve with mediocrity. The call-ing of God, even in a small pla-ce, is a High Calling.
But will we ever go on to lead a bigger church if we are faithful in serving in a small church? Maybe “Yes”, and maybe “No”! It all depends upon what the Fa-ther has chosen for us. We should however never look at serving in a small place as a “stepping-stone” towards being “promoted” to a bigger place, just because we believe that we are “destined for bigger things”.
We should not “use” the people in that small church to build our ministries, using them to move ourselves on to something big-ger. On the contrary, our attitu-de should be “Lord if this is the biggest place where I shall ever serve, let me be Faithful in serv-ing these people with all my heart”. If you serve with this at-titude, God will surely Bless you!
The Banana peels of every Gospel Minister
The devil is aware that every gospel minister possesses great threat to his kingdom. He has therefore devised a plan to “smite the shepherd and the sheep will scatter” strategy.
And over the years and cen-turies, he has succeeded too much with this strategy, using five modus operandi;
- Gold – he uses the pursuance of money to finish many church leaders. Once your attitude to money is wrong in life and ministry, you are a sucker for the devil
- Girls – he uses the opposite sex to ruin the testimony of many ministers. Lots of minist-ers today have fallen prey to this strategy of the devil. They have become immoral, lustful, rapists, gay and sexually corr-upt, thereby losing their anoint-ing and God.
- Glory – pride, ego, boasting and self worth is another stra-tegy the devil uses to finish many ministers.
- Gimmicks – lies, sinful meth-ods, tricky and ungodly means. Too many ministers have re-sorted to demonic gimmicks to run their ministry today.
- Gluttony – too much eating, talking, sleeping and over in-dulgence has destroyed many ministers of the gospel. The devil has used lack of discipline to finish many once powerful and anointed ministers of the gospel.
If the devil can come to our Lord Jesus to tempt Him (John 14:30), he will also come to you to tempt you with these five-fold strategies.
But as Jesus overcame, may you receive grace to overcome too in Jesus mighty, mighty name. Shalom.