Perspective on Mission and Ministry
Is ministry (or mission) an event or something more? The writer of Hebrews tells us:
Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.
We think of race as an event and it is. But in this verse it signifies our lives. From eternity’s perspective a 70-80 year life would look like a short event. But viewing ministry and mission as the whole of our lives moves us beyond the mindset of an event. So what is mission and ministry?
Think in terms of a continuum. Or think of the race in Hebrews 12 as a relay race. Someone else ministered before me and others will minister after me. Right now it is my turn for ministry.
Another valuable perspective is a stream or river. Mission and ministry flow constantly on until the return of Christ. My mission or ministry is just a short stretch of the river. How does this help you?
Purpose in Mission and Ministry
I remember when we began our work in Samana. It was part of our race to run. That opened a new ministry point and that work continues to be an opportunity for blessings. Mission volunteers go in order to be a blessing and find themselves abundantly blessed in return. One of my ministry blessings is having the the opportunity to bring churches together to do the work of the Kingdom.
The church in Samana has been a Gospel witness for 198 years. A large sign on the church wall notes that long history. EquipUs is now part of that history. And that has brought many more churches into their stream of ministry and mission.
The Samana section of our Pastor Training School should have its first graduation in 2023. So, the reach of our own ministry will continue to be multiplied by the pastors we have equipped and who also touch many lives in the Dom. Republic. These pastors are equipped to minister more effectively than ever before. How far into the future will our combinded ministry reach? I can’t say. But I think it’s safe to believe it will reach beyond most of our lifetimes. And that would be something consistent with:
Lay up for yourselves treasure in Heaven where moth and rust does not corrupt and thieves do not break in and steal.
And why do we run the ministry race? What is the purpose in the stream of ministry? It is always to glorify God and cause his Kingdom to expand. You may recall some famous words along that line:
Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.
Seeking God’s glory is the key to success in every mission. To be clear, I am not just talking about the missions I lead. Think about running the race in these missions:
I think you get the idea. Whatever the mission, it’s going to go better if it has a life perspective and God’s glory for its purpose.
A New Mission
Actually, there are TWO new missions on our horizon! In January we will be opening up a new ministry point in La Romana, Dom. Republic. That is just days away. Please pray. And if you’d like to make a year-end donation and invest in all this new ministry stream will bring, please see our Donate page.
It is not scheduled yet, but we are likely to have a trip to Colombia, South America. That also needs your prayers. There is no way to over estimate the need for pray or its power. All ministry moves at the speed of prayer! And to close, let me extend this thought forward to this time next year.
A new guiding principle is in view. In 2021, we began the year with Moses’ words from Psalm 90:
May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us, establish the work of our hands for us – yes, establish the work of our hands.
That’s a great prayer for all of us at ANY time!
Our guiding Scripture in 2022 has been something Paul wrote to the Philippian church:
Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus laid hold of me.
New ministry opportunities have resulted from the Lord establishing our work and pressing on (together) to reach what He has laid out for us.
For 2023, a Scripture I have referenced in this post will be our guide:
Therefore, since we also have such a great cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every weight and the sin which so easily ensnares us. Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us, keeping our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith… Hebrews 12:1-2a
As you would anticipate, there will be much more to say about running our race and laying aside every weight. But for now, always remember what Helping Hands can do: