Taking the Word to the World

Archive for April, 2014

Discovering Ministry in the Midst of the Stuff – Part 6

Discovering Ministry (2)

Advance His Kingdom

In order to advance His kingdom we must be ever mindful of our vision. The United Pentecostal Church International theme for this year is “Advance His Kingdom.”

Advance:

  • Move forward
  • Progress
  • Push forward
  • Gain ground
  • Draw nearer
  • Improve
  • Breakthrough
  • Step forward
  • Step in the right direction
  • Proceed

Lest we briskly bypass it: ministry is what we do to move, push, and proceed with His kingdom. We are in His service and it is not designed to serve-us. It’s not about us. It’s about Him. No personal kingdom-building satisfies the call of advancing His kingdom.

Kingdom:

  • A country ruled by a king or queen
  • Realm
  • Domain
  • Dominion
  • Spiritual world of which God is King

On the mission field, praying for those that work in the office, I developed a habit of visually moving from office to office, cubicle to cubicle, praying specifically for each staff member, hoping they realized the role they played in global missions and evangelism. I often still do that today in my daily devotions. I want others to see the big picture. Me too! I want to live the big picture.

“They say that it takes 20,000 hours of practice in any discipline to achieve a real talent for success. On the basis of an eight hour day—and for some it is much more—that translates into 2,500 days, or six years and 310 days, at seven days a week. Many of the Olympic athletes put in four years of daily training between each Olympiad. For a lucky few the sheer grit pays off. Four years of hard slog comes down to a few hours, a few minutes or a few seconds of competitive excellence. We should not be too hard on those don’t quite make the medals tables. And they shouldn’t be too hard on themselves either. For many Olympians, merely to have competed is satisfaction enough.

We are reminded of those old adages: no pain, no gain; no Cross, no Crown; the grit in the oyster makes the pearl; practice, practice, practice: for practice makes perfect. And some of the Olympic performances have been as close to perfection as human effort is every likely to achieve.” See more at: http://www.iofc.org/olympic-spirit-london-2012#sthash.2hC0dMQW.dpuf. So, it is important to find ministry in the stuff; practicing for that moment when we shine the brightest for the Lord. The ministry mundane may manufacture in us ministry merit.

My secretary, Pat Morgan, has stayed by the stuff for nearly forty years. Last week I came around the corner and saw her busily working away on her computer. It’s by far not the first time I’ve noticed. But, this time I thought, “How many hours has she invested in Global Missions? How many hours has she stayed by the stuff?” She started off in home missions before she went global. According to my calculations she has held the course for around 75,000 hours.

Keeping the big picture front and center encourages me (us) to take responsibility over choices and decisions. Focus begs for the questions, “Is this advancing His kingdom? Am I doing this in a way that advances His kingdom?”

Paul was able to proclaim at the end of ministry: “I’ve fought the fight. I’ve kept the faith. I’ve advanced His kingdom!”