I became a Christian in 1964 at a camp in Hunua, and from that time on have been very involved in many Christian ministry activities.  It has been a pleasure and a privilege to serve the Lord in this way over the years.

The notes below give details of the various ministry activities I have been involved in, and some reflections on what I have learned about being effective in ministry.





Youth ministry
Sunday School Teaching and Bible Class leading

This was at Glenfield and Albany Presbyterian Churches during the late 1960s and early 1970s.  At Albany I set up and ran the whole Sunday School and Bible Class programme for a couple of years. Children seem to be more open to the Lord than adults so it makes sense to take every opportunity to share Jesus with them, so they can accept Him as Saviour, and can build strong Christian foundations in their lives.

ISCF (Inter School Christian Fellowship)
I led ISCF groups in each of the schools where I taught. (Takapuna Grammar School, Rodney College, Mahurangi College and The Correspondence School).
ISCF was a Scripture Union programme in secondary schools.  (It was originally called Crusaders). From time to time we had exciting things happen in and through the ISCF groups.  At Takapuna Grammar there was a mini-revival with quite a number of 7th formers coming to the Lord (which led to the establishment of the ‘Saturday Night Group’); at Rodney College we led a weekly assembly and were able to present the gospel to the whole school; at Mahurangi College we made a movie called ‘The Way’ and entered it in a national competition, and at the Correspondence School the members of the ISCF were from all throughout NZ and the world. It was very rewarding working in schools through ISCF.  It is hard for young people to take a stand for Christ at school and ISCF provides a way they can have fellowship, share the gospel, and be a positive Christian influence in their school.

CYC (Christian Youth Camps)
Christian Youth Camps is a big Christian camp at Ngaruawahia.  I was a leader (responsible for a cabin of campers), Commandant (responsible for the running of the whole camp), and Chaplain (responsible for the devotions and leading the spiritual side of camp) for about 30 camps.  These camps were quite tiring but God did some wonderful things and hundreds of young people accepted the Lord as their Saviour. Special highlights were 3 canoe camps down the Waipa and Waikato Rivers; 3 Tongariro Safaris where we climbed over Mt Tongariro; and, later on, 3 family camps where our whole family led the camps.  Another major highlight of CYC was that I met Kathy, my future wife, there when we were both leading children's camps!



                                                                                                            
 At a CYC camp 1969  


Saturday Night Group 1969 - 1974
After the revival at Takapuna Grammar School I started up and led the ‘Saturday Night Group’ over a period of 5 years.  Initially I was supported by Grahame Wilson, then by Ian Mandeno and Pauline and Terry Welch, and later by Bruce Taylor. The Saturday Night Group was one of the cells that emerged during the Charismatic renewal and became very important in the lives of the many young people who attended. We had up to 60 at the meetings and they came from all over Auckland and sometimes from Hamilton as well.  The meetings were about 4 hours long with wonderful times of worship from a song book I had laboriously typed up!  My teaching sessions were supported by notes printed off on a Banda machine, and there was always ministry and great times of fellowship.  Many young people gained a strong Bible-based foundation for their lives at the Saturday Night Group.  Lots were saved and filled with the Holy Spirit, and many ended up in full time ministries.  The group supported a World Vision child called Posisi and prayed for her regularly.  It was very challenging for me to prepare the Bible Studies each week because they were intensive, detailed and systematic (and I also had to prepare for Sunday School, Bible Class, ISCF, Bible studies at school, the mid-week meeting at Glenfield and regular preaching!  No wonder my parents didn’t think I was very balanced). I now look back on the Saturday Night Group as one of the most exciting and effective periods of ministry in my life.

Teen Challenge and YWAM
In the late 60s and early seventies I was involved in Teen Challenge/YWAM outreaches in Mt Maunganui over the summer holidays.  We did street and beach witnessing, ran a coffee bar outreach and I ran a children's programme on the beach. 
One time I was leading a group of about 30 Christians with my guitar as we marched down the street.  The Hell's Angels lined up on their motorbikes at the other end of the street aiming to run us down.  We stood our ground and pretty soon the street was filled with Christians and bikies talking about the Lord!  Another time were preaching from the back of a truck and the crowd got agitated and started throwing eggs at us.  Not one egg hit a Christian!  Then it started to rain and the only place available for shelter was our coffee bar!  That night I led someone to the Lord just as the new year came in. A great start to the year!

Girls' Brigade New Zealand

I was Area Chaplain for the Hutt Valley-Wairarapa area for 3 years and then as elected as National Chaplain for Girls' Brigade between 1996 and 2000.  I very much enjoyed this ministry and was able to make a significant contribution to the movement at a time when it was struggling somewhat. Girls' Brigade needed a process of change and modernisation and I worked with National Commissioners Janice Zachan and Jennifer Box to bring about this change.  We reviewed many aspects of the movement and refocused it on meeting the needs of the girls we were serving. When I completed my time as National Chaplain I was honoured with the National Commissioners Award for services rendered and continued to serve as a consultant to the National Executive of Girls' Brigade, helping out with planning, training, video making, Queen's Award assessment etc. 

Two major tasks for Girls' Brigade that I completed were re-designing the assessment for Queen's Award, and development of a major leadership training programme called 'Awesome Leadership'.  I ran occasional weekend training workshops on mentoring, and Kathy and I attended the 4-yearly Fonomarae camps.  Here we made a daily 10 minute DVD which was played at the end of each day's programme, and an overall DVD for the week.  Fonomarae was demanding for us, but incredibly rewarding! 

    

  National Chaplain and National Commissioner, Janice Zachan                 Outreach in Lower Hutt                                                 Videoing at Fonomarae  


    For more about Girls' Brigade see http://www.girlsbrigade.org.nz



Home Group leadership
After the great blessings we received through the Saturday Night Group, Kathy and I have always been involved in home groups.
 

Glenfield Mid-week meeting 1970 - 1974

The Glenfield Presbyterian Church’s mid-week meeting was held at Bev and Trev Small’s place and was very similar to the Saturday Night Meeting as I shared the same messages.  Up to 30 people attended (and the Small’s had to extend their lounge!) The group included both ministers of the Church, Arch Davie and Peter Armstrong.  The meetings were quite significant for many in the Church, but also led to division and misunderstanding as was pretty typical for Charismatic groups at the time. The meetings were memorable for the rows of tape recorders recording my messages! 

Wellsford 1976, 1977
In Wellsford the teaching I shared enabled the group to dig deeper into the Bible.

Warkworth 1978-1982
We had a great, family-based home group in Snells Beach, where we lived, just out of Warkworth.  We had little children and so did many of those who came. The children had a fun time in our family room before going to sleep, while the adults were having their meeting.  Happy children and happy adults!

Porirua AOG 1985-1987
The home group at Porirua was also family based. It's great when children can look forward to going to a home group meeting!
                                 
Lower Hutt Baptist 1988-2005
In our first few years at Lower Hutt I ran a series of training programmes as part of the Home Group programme.  These included 'Shepherds Pie', for home group leaders; 'Sharing Jesus with Children' for youth workers, 'SALT' for youth leaders, and 'Gods way is the best way', for young people on dating, sex and relationships. Later I moved from home group to home group doing occasional teaching series.
Towards the end of our time in Lower Hutt we were part of an excellent home group that came out of a 'Purpose driven life' seminar. We were a diverse and free-thinking group!  We grew to love and trust each other so much that we were able to express and explore our deepest thoughts.  It was acceptable to question and explore anything including many of the Church's sacred cows!  This home group was very helpful for sorting out ideas regarding the Church and interpretations of the Bible that were of concern to us.

Gateway Christian Fellowship, Paraparaumu. 2008 to 2015
We led a wonderful home group at Gateway, comprised mainly of older people.  After Gateway closed in July 2015 we have continued to gather together in our home as a loving fellowship.

Music ministry
I learnt the clarinet while I was at school (and never was very good at it!).  Later on I taught myself to play the guitar, the saxophone, and then the piano.  From this came the organ, and then the keyboard. I was given a piano for my 21st birthday, and for most of my adult life also had an electronic organ.  Today I have a Yamaha clavinova which is a beautiful instrument that can reproduce the sounds of pretty well any other musical instrument.

Glenfield Presbyterian Church 1970-1973
I played the organ for the Sunday morning services for a number of years. I was self-taught and couldn't read the left hand notes of the music so it's a wonder they entrusted this role to me, especially when there were some excellent musicians in the congregation!

Saturday Night Group and Glenfield Mid-week meeting 1969-1974
I often led the worship in these meetings, playing the guitar or the organ. We had some wonderful times of worship for about an hour. The worship wasn't programmed at all and was very much under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.  Everyone was sensitive to what was happening and to the Holy Spirit so it flowed from song to song; rising and falling in intensity, and incredibly Jesus-centred.  Sometimes people were saved or filled with the Holy Spirit during the worship times,and every now and then we would have an outpouring of the Holy Spirit so that there was no time left for me to teach! (Quite often this was when I hadn't been given a message to share anyway!).  The kind of worship we experienced during the late 60s and early to mid 70s was quite different to today. It was much less programmed, much more flowing in the Holy Spirit, and made extensive use of Scripture in Song choruses.

Koinonia 1973-1975
Koinonia was a band that was set up as an evangelistic outreach, and it often supported me when I spoke at camps.  Members of the group were Penny Bilton, Mike Renner, Kathy, Rob Davie and myself.  Kathy sang, and I played guitar, organ, and sometimes, clarinet.  One night someone firebombed our house as we were practicing! They wanted to kill Christians! That night God gave us a scripture: "This slight momentary affliction is preparing you for an eternal weight of glory".  Very comforting!

You can listen to Kathy singing with Koinonia here.  If that isn't love.  The recording was made in 1975 and I am playing the guitar. 

                                                                                                               

                Koinonia: Penny, Mike, Kathy, Rob and Ross                                                                         



In 1982 I started having voice problems. This led to nodes on the vocal cords which were operated on 3 times. The end result was that I lost my voice and couldn't speak for a couple of years. After extensive speech therapy I re-learnt to speak but my voice remained weak for many years and I couldn't sing.  (Still can't!).   This was not good for my music ministry, and meant I had to learn to worship the Lord in different ways.

Porirua AOG 1984-1987
We moved to Tawa so I could teach at The Correspondence School (without a voice!). We attended Porirua AOG and I ended up playing piano as part of an excellent multi-cultural worship team.  This was great for me as it meant I could express my worship through the piano, even though I wasn't able to sing.

The music seminar
As my voice returned I was able to speak again, although somewhat tentatively at first, and I started developing ministry training programmes to complement my Bible teaching and preaching ministry.  One of the training programmes I delivered in quite a few Churches was 'The Music Seminar'.  This included training for worship leaders and for the whole Church on aspects of worship, and flowing in the Holy Spirit. Kathy often helped me in this programme by singing to illustrate various points.

These days I still can't sing, but I can play instruments!  I especially enjoy worshiping the Lord on my Yamaha clavinova and occasionally I play keyboard for church services or outreaches, Music was not an important component of my ministry for many years but just recently a group of us have started leading 'singalongs' for elderly people.  I play the keyboard for this.  We always include Christians songs and positive Christian messages in amongst the fun.

Leading the Music Seminar with Kathy 1985      

This shows that someone's ministry can change significantly throughout their life due to circumstances, personal development, change of focus, or obedience to the Lord's will. It is vital that we stay open to the Lord all throughout our lives so that we are serving Him in the way He wants at all times.



Teaching ministry
Bible study
I love studying the Bible. This has been a constant throughout my life, right from when I first became a Christian, but my approach to Bible Study has changed somewhat over the years. In the early days I used to read the Bible through regularly,  underlining as I went, and supplemented this by listening to lots of tapes by Christian teachers. When I began leading Bible Study groups my studies became more topical, as I prepared for the message I was to share each week. Later on I became more systematic, reading study Bibles, commentaries and on-line resources to enhance my understanding of God's Word. Later on I learnt about principles for valid interpretation of the Bible and this has greatly helped my Bible studies. (See Getting the best from your Bible, Interpreting the Bible, and Principles for interpreting the Bible, under Bible studies).

I have always prepared handouts for the messages I have preached and the Bible Studies I have led.  Initially the handouts were on banda, then were done by Gestetner, and nowadays are printed direct from the computer.  What great improvements in technology!  I am currently updating many of the handouts from these studies and have prepared a straight-forward introduction to each book of the Bible. These are all freely available for anyone to use from this website. See Bible studies   It is my great hope that these studies will be useful for  Christians all over the world in years to come.

Often my messages were taped and many are now available on CD or by download through Inspirational Media.   

I attended the BTI (now Bible College of New Zealand) evening Bible College for a number of years, and also completed a Diploma in Theology from Emmanuel Bible College.  These studies were most helpful in giving me a systematic understanding of theology and of the books in the Bible.

I have found that the Bible is incredibly relevant for life.  The principles of God's Word have enriched my life, my marriage, my parenting, my work, my involvement in the Church, and my various ministry activities.  It is a great sadness to me that so few Christians these days take the time to study the Bible in depth, and that those outside of Christ are missing out on the greatest resource there is for living in God's world. It is certainly true that Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path. Psalm 119:105

Preaching and teaching

My preaching and teaching ministry started at the Saturday Night Group.  Every week I prepared and shared a detailed study, with a printed handout.
Soon I was preaching regularly in different churches, speaking at camps, and running Bible studies at school, in home groups and all over the place!  Very early on I recognised that the delivery of teaching and preaching was just as important as the content.  That's why I used handouts and overhead projector transparencies to illustrate the messages, and made the sessions interactive, with questions, illustrations, stories, jokes, homework etc. Sometimes the messages were an hour or more long, especially when I was teaching through detailed subjects, but that didn't seem to phase anyone, as there was a strong hunger for deeper teaching from God's Word. There were often significant responses to the messages, as well, so the teaching typically led into times of ministry, and were often followed by practical application through the week.  
                                                           
After a while I realised that a teaching series where I could develop a topic in detail was much more effective than one-off messages so that became a feature of my teaching/preaching ministry.  Some of the series that I developed and shared were:
  • Towards wholeness - showing how we can be like Jesus in all aspects of our lives
  • Kingdom living - living under Jesus' kingship so we be what He wants us to be, and do what He wants us to do
  • Building better relationships - in families and other human relationships
  • Aspects of the Cross - showing what Jesus achieved for us at the Cross and what it means to be "in Christ"
  • Guidance - how God guides us so we can know His will
  • The theory of evolution
  • The doctrine of Christ - from Hebrews 6:1-3
  • Romans, Daniel, and other book studies
  • Coming into our inheritance -  on coming into the Kingdom of God
  • Towards Christian ethics
  • Authentic Christians in an anti-Christian world
  • Effective and fruitful ministry.
Three events significantly affected my preaching and teaching ministry:

In 1972 I attended the Tauranga convention while on a YWAM outreach.  The speaker that year was Judson Cornwall and he was teaching through Chapter 1 of the Song of Solomon.  The message was all about falling in love with Jesus and the wonder of having a relationship with Him.  This message really grabbed me; partly because of its wonderful content, and partly because of the amazing way that Judson Cornwall was able to open up the Scriptures and make them come alive.  From that time on I was changed!  Jesus was someone personal.  I love Him!  He loves me! The greatest thing that can happen in anyone's life is to have a love relationship with Jesus!  The focus of my ministry from that time on has been on helping people come into a personal and real love relationship with Jesus.

The second significant event occurred in 1975 when I was leading the Saturday Night Group, the Glenfield mid-week meeting, ISCF at school, camps, etc. and was involved in lots of different evangelistic outreaches.  I started to develop a sense of my own importance, and was placed on a pedestal by those I was leading.  One way this showed itself was by people often saying "Ross says ...." and thinking that because I said it, it must be right and be obeyed. This led to a sense of spiritual pride, and a feeling that in some way I was superior to others, and had power over them.  A great friend and Pastor, Peter Armstrong, recognised this and saw clearly the effects of it.  Many were being blessed and were going on powerfully for the Lord, but equally many were being put off and the cause of the kingdom of God was being harmed by my spiritual pride and arrogance. This was leading to division in the Body of Christ and hurting a significant number of God's people. Peter confronted me about this and laid my heart bare in a loving and gentle way!  He showed me that when I sought to take control of peoples' lives or ignored the needs of those who weren't following me, I was actually challenging God's sovereignty in their lives.  God was supposed to be Lord and people were supposed to do what He wanted them to do, not what "Ross says"!  I immediately recognised the truth of what Peter was saying, repented of my pride, and apologised to the Lord and the people.  From that time on I have been very aware of the importance of ensuring God is sovereign in all ministry activities, and have not tried to manipulate or influence people out of my will, or desire for power.  I now seek to find God's will for every ministry situation, obey the Lord, do my best, and then leave it to Him to do whatever He wants.  This means I am very careful not to manipulate the people.  Rather I encourage them to be open to the Lord, and allow Him to do whatever He wants in their lives.  That way all the glory goes to God, where it belongs!

The third significant event was the loss of my voice in 1982.  My vocal cords were operated on three times and I ended up not being able to speak at all.   People started treating me differently - as someone with a disability.  I couldn't speak to them, so they stopped speaking to me!  Suddenly all speaking ministries stopped, and it felt as though all that I was had been taken away. I was a preacher, a teacher, a singer, .....  now I was nothing.

But the Lord was good!  Through this difficult time I never doubted that He was in control and that He would work His purposes out for me and my family.  All things work together for good, for those who love God and are called according to His purposes.  Romans 8:28.  One day in Church the Lord gave us a promise that we would be going to a place which we would later receive as our inheritance, based on Hebrews 11:8.  This turned out to be going to Wellington where I got a job at the Correspondence School (where I could still be a teacher, but not have to speak). There I got into a whole new area of teaching for me: that of instructional design.  Central in instruction design is for teachers to teach in ways that help people learn, and this led to a whole new area of learning for me: learning how people learn! 

I had lots of speech therapy and gradually recovered the ability to speak, but it was many years before I could speak confidently as I had before.  I started trying a whole new approach to preaching (for me!) where I didn't just spout my message at the people, but took them through a learning process so they received the Word of God and processed it so the Word became part of their lives.  My preaching suddenly became a whole lot more interesting and effective! 
And then another whole new world opened up for me: the world of training.  And training became my work and ministry focus from then on!  I lived to equip the saints for the work of ministry Ephesians 4:12.  My guiding scripture for the training ministry that emerged was:  We proclaim Him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom; so that we may present everyone mature in Christ. Colossians 1:28

So out of an awful situation when I lost my voice, my ministry, and pretty well all that I was, God brought forth a whole new direction for my life, and a whole new effectiveness in it, personally, professionally and spiritually!  Isn't God good!

Training
I began developing training programmes to equip Christians for common ministries in their local Church, and to develop skills that would help them grow in their Christian lives. We were at Porirua AOG at the time I started this training ministry and my development in this area was helped immensely because the people in the Church wanted, needed and valued training so they could be more effective in their Christian lives and ministry.

Over the next few years I developed and delivered training programmes in:
  • preaching (Getting your message through)
  • small group leadership (Shepherd's Pie)
  • dating, sex and boy-girl relationships (God's way is the best way, and Preparing for Christian marriage)
  • worship leading (The Music Seminar)
  • being a better father and husband
  • children's ministry (Sharing Jesus with children)
  • communication
  • Bible study (Getting the best from your Bible)
  • prayer  (Adventures in prayer, and Prayer ministry teams)
  • one on one ministry (Helping people with problems)
  • equipping others for ministry (Skills-based training and Training skills)
  • facilitation (Facilitation skills)
  • coping with stress
  • time management
  • relationships (Building better relationships)
  • mentoring (Coaching and mentoring)
These training programmes were presented in home groups, at family camps, in Bible Colleges, as preaching series, as evening or weekend seminars.....  Sometimes they were public workshops; other times they were part of a Church's programme. Sometimes they were for small groups; other times for large. The training programmes were all Bible based, practical, focused on skill development, and designed in ways that helped people learn.

    
Leading a "Train the Trainer" workshop in Canberra, Australia, 2009

(Interestingly my move into this training ministry coincided with a move in my career from being a teacher to being a professional training consultant.  In 1990 I got a job as Training Manager at The Open Polytechnic which was initially focused on training the polytech tutors in how to teach. This evolved into a training consultant role in which I delivered professional training and development programmes for clients all throughout New Zealand and occasionally overseas. My career - and my training ministry - was helped greatly by 'train the trainer' training I received, conferences I attended and study that I pursued.  All of this meant that I was able to develop and deliver training in my work and in my ministry that was effective in helping people learn, grow and develop).

Some of the training programmes listed above and many of my teaching and preaching messages can be accessed on this website in the 'Bible studies' section.  Bible studies

Speaking at camps
In the 1970s and 1980s many Churches held family camps in which the whole Church went away for a weekend for fellowship and teaching from a guest speaker. I was often asked to be a speaker at these camps and generally spoke on Christian family issues especially communication. Taking on issues like this over a weekend is great because you have time to deal with the issue in some depth and it is set in a relaxing context where the people are fellowshipping with each other in ways they rarely do. It is sad that the 'family camp' is not common in today's Churches.     

Family camp 1977


One on one ministry

Sometimes the Lord leads you into ministry areas that you are not normally involved in, and that you don't particularly like. I tend to be a bit of a loner, and am not overly comfortable in social situations like parties. (This is also affected by not being able to talk freely in noisy situations, because it hurts my voice). As a result the ministries I have exercised over the years have tended to be preaching, teaching and training of groups of people, rather than working with people one on one.

Never-the-less the Lord has often placed me in situations where I have ministered to people one-on-one, even though this is not what I feel called to, or even like. I have developed skills and understanding of human relationships (often through my training roles!) so these skills have been called on to minister to people in need.  The main areas of one-on-one ministry have been facilitation in situations where there have been relationship breakdowns; giving of advice and counsel; preparing for marriage; healing; and hospitality.  Fortunately Kathy is outstanding at one-on-one ministry so we have often worked together as a team in this area.

Out of this I have learnt that ministry normally takes place best in teams, and that we shouldn't classify ourselves as being only involved in one type of ministry. The Lord may want us to do something else that we are not used to or don't enjoy.  The key is to be open to Him and obedient to what He wants us to do. Then He can use us in quite different ways to what we expect!

Later in our lives a new area of one-on-one ministry opened up: that of mentoring.  Kathy and I did this together and we found it very rewarding. Mentoring is all about passing on wisdom to the next generation by helping younger Christians as they deal with issues that we have already been through.

Eldership and pastoring

I was an elder at Glenfield Presbyterian Church (1971-1974); Warkworth Presbyterian Church (1979-1981); Porirua AOG (1985-1987) and Gateway Christian Fellowship (2009 on).  I did not enjoy being an elder in the two Presbyterian Churches because it seemed that much of our time was spent trying to stop God doing what He wanted to do!  Also I had to go out every few months giving out cards and inviting people to the communion services.  This often hindered my other ministry, and was very much not me!  It was quite different at Porirua AOG where I was able to work with Pastor David Jourdain in a complementary way and make a major input, especially in preaching and training.  When he left I had responsibility for pastoring the Church for a while.


Lower Hutt City Church of Christ 2005-2007

This Church had a big and unpleasant split, and I was often invited to come and preach on a Sunday.  We received a request from the elders of the Church, Mario Volk and Richard Harford, to come and lead the Church back to wholeness on a part time paid basis.  We felt that this was not what God was wanting and offered to come freely, as a gift from Lower Hutt Baptist Church. This was the beginning of two years of most effective pastoral and teaching ministry.  I preached most Sundays taking the Church through a process of healing, and then re-building based on Biblical principles. Kathy was involved with the women's ministries and with the old folks.  When we finished our ministry at the Church of Christ the Church was healthy, refocused and positive, and had called a full time pastor. The Church continues to flourish and is now called Link Hutt City.

Gateway Christian Fellowship 2008 -2013
We were leaders of Gateway Christian Fellowship in Paraparaumu on the Kapiti Coast for 5 years.   Gateway was a small Church so we had significant pastoral and leadership responsibilities, in addition to the normal Bible teaching, and setting up of ministry and fellowship opportunities for people in the church.  I set up a web site for the Church at http://gatewaychristianfellowship.yolasite.com  and it now stands as a historical record of the wonderful eleven and a half years that Gateway existed.

I don't feel that eldership and pastoring are the main call on my life, (compared to preaching, teaching, and training) but they do open up opportunities to serve the Lord, bless His people and exercise a wide range of ministries to build up the Body of Christ, and extend the Kingdom of God.  That's why I have been involved in these ministries.

Reflections on Christian ministry

So what are some of the lessons I have learned about being effective in Christian ministry?

  1. Effective ministry is initiated by God.  He tells you what He wants you to do, and you act in obedience.  When ministry is initiated by God He provides the resources, wisdom and power to bring His will to pass.  Whatsoever is born of God overcomes the world.  1 John 5:4.
  2. It's easy to become spiritually proud when ministry goes well. Instead of giving the glory to God you can easily feel that you deserve the glory.  Spiritual pride tries to elevate you in your own and others' eyes.  It also opens you up to all sorts of temptations.  If you are spiritually proud there is only one way ahead: to be humbled. Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall.  Proverbs 16:18.
  3. Having a right motive in ministry is very important.  You won't go far wrong if your motives are always to do what God wants, and to serve, bless, encourage, help, and release His people into wholeness and effectiveness in their lives.  Whoever wants to be great among you must be your servant. Matthew 20:26.
  4. Credibility in ministry comes from extensive study, learning, understanding, and experience. These things all take time so credibility develops slowly. We must make allowances for young people as they are going through this learning process to gain credibility.  Often learning takes place best through making of mistakes so be patient, supportive and helpful as others are developing in their ministries, and work hard on building strong foundations for the development of your own ministries.  Never think you have arrived!  Never stop learning!
  5. Ministries change as you go through your life. Don't assume that the ministries you are exercising now will be the same ones you will exercise all through your life.  Stay open to the Lord and to His leading in your life.
  6. Effectiveness in ministry comes from a partnership between you and the Holy Spirit. He leads, guides, empowers and works in everyone's lives (including yours!).  You seek to find His will, submit to His leading, be wise, work hard, do your best, and leave the results to Him.
  7. Ministry is all about love. You love the Lord, His word, and His people. You then seek to bring them all together in a wise and loving way.
  8. There are personal downsides to being involved in ministry. You may be misunderstood and not appreciated.  You may be taken for granted and used.  It will take a lot of your time, energy and focus, and this may not be understood by your family and friends. There is a cost.
  9. You can only be effective in ministry if you have a vibrant personal relationship with the Lord.  Every aspect of your ministry comes out of this, so always make your relationship with the Lord a priority.
  10. Ministry makes demand on all aspects of your life.  This includes your family, work, sleep and your personal life.  Make sure you maintain a balance in all of these areas.  If you are out of balance you will not be effective in your ministry and you can seriously harm other important aspects of your life.
  11. You can have an effective ministry even if you are not a full time pastor or christian worker (including a preaching and teaching ministry).  Unfortunately many Churches tend to get the idea that they are paying the pastor to do the ministry so individuals in the church don't need to worry too much about it!  How much better if leaders in Churches would realise that their major role is to equip the saints for the work of ministry Ephesians 4:12, and not do all the ministry themselves!  That would lead to far fewer burnt out pastors, and lots more Christians being trained, equipped and sent out to share their giftings into a needy world.  Churches where the pastor, paid staff and the 'faithful few' do all the ministry, are actually unhealthy.  Much better is for everyone in the Church to be exercising their ministries, supported by their Church leaders.
  12. Ministry is incredibly rewarding.  As you do what God calls you to do you will experience great satisfaction and fulfillment. Whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. Matthew 10:39.  Real meaning and purpose in life is found in the centre of God's will!  And at the end of your life you will hear Him say.  Well done, good and faithful servant.  Enter into the joy of your Master. Matthew 25:21.
For more about effective ministry see the study on Effective and fruitful ministry in Bible studies

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