There are three things that are of great importance to me as a minister:
The Bible is the absolute most important piece/collection of literature ever written. 2 Timothy 3:16 states that all Scripture is God-breathed and is used for something that nothing else ever written can be: teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness. Why? Because it’s God’s Word. God’s laws and standards are unchanging, while everything changes. Therefore, you cannot know God or know the reality of the created world we live in without it.
This should be a “duh” moment for you. When I say that prayer is vital, it shouldn’t be a surprise or a reminder. Prayer is the one and only way we can talk directly to God. Sadly, we do not look at it this way. We forget to pray, think that some things aren’t worth talking to God about, you name it. I’ll tell you that in college chapel services, many students are looking around or whispering during prayers. I’ve been guilty myself. We should not hold prayer so low, either corporately or individually. When someone is praying they are speaking to God, and we should be speaking with them. It is much less about asking for things than it is about maintaining your relationship with the Father.
Oh, how this is so easily forgotten. How many times do we hear a sermon that doesn’t mention Christ? Whether you’re teaching from the Old Testament, the New testament, or teaching on life’s daily issues… The cross of Christ and His Good News should be central to the message. Jesus even speaks about the fact that the Old Testament is about Him. There is absolutely no reason why the Gospel isn’t made central to teaching, praying, evangelizing, or any aspect of the daily human life. The Gospel isn’t just an idea, it’s the reconciler of all creation.
I’ve thought a lot lately about the role I play or potentially could play as a Christian blogger. God has brought a decent amount of traffic and recognition to this blog, especially lately, and I always wonder the affect it has on those who read it. There are those who simply follow a link to my blog, click a link here, and are only on the site for less than a minute. Some are referred to an article I’ve written by another site, read it, and move along in a matter of minutes. There are some of you who have chosen to receive emails of anything posted here. Regardless of the amount of time someone may or may not spend here, my hope has always been to share relevant and helpful resources for Christians.
So, what is my role in the lives of those who read? I turn to Paul’s statement in his letter to the Corinthians:
1 Corinthians 3:5-7 – What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task. I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.
I suppose, as a teacher, I will either be a planter or a waterer. It’s easy for teachers, pastors, church leaders, or whoever to try to take the credit for the growth of those they lead. For example, prominent leaders like Mark Driscoll and Matt Chandler are young guys whose churches have exploded numerically in short amounts of time. These men haven’t cornered the market or learned a special “trick” to church growth. No, they are men that God has gifted and used solely for His glory. Honestly, it could have been anyone at any time; they are merely guys who throw out seeds for God to sprout.
I am NOTHING. I am a vessel, blessed by God to be used by Him. The writer of Hebrews says it rather plainly:
Hebrews 6:1,3 – Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity, and God permitting, we will do so.
I deserve no credit for helping you grow, and you deserve no credit for growing. All I can do is preach faithfully and all you can do is read with an open heart.
God will do the rest as He pleases.
I’ll stop posting Chandler videos when he stops being a beast.
Matt speaks at Advance ’09 about preaching to those who are not fully submitted to God although they may think they are.
A video with great insight!