Philosophy of Ministry
A High View of God
- God is holy, righteous, and just (Exodus 34:6-8; Isaiah 6:1-3; Jeremiah 9:24; Romans 11:33-36; Revelation 4:8-11)
- We then must be holy (1 Peter 1:14-16; Ephesians 4:1-3; Philippians 1:27)
- A failure to have a high view of God leads to:
- A toleration of sin
- A focus on man’s self-evaluation rather than God’s truth
- The church reflects a man-centered ministry that attempts to please peers rather than glorify God.
A commitment to a high view of God leads us to view His Word as the perfect guide for our lives.
The Sufficiency and Authority of God’s Word
- Authority, simply stated: Whatever the Word says I must do! If we are to have a biblical philosophy of ministry, it must seek its sole authority from the Word of God. “Jesus said, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God’ (Matt. 4:4). If we are fed by every word that comes out of the mouth of God, we ought to study every word” (The Master’s Plan For The Church [Chicago: Moody, 1991], pp. 26-27).
- Relevancy. God’s Word is totally relevant for every situation. It may not give us an explicit answer to every specific problem, but it will always give us the principles by which we can, through obedience, glorify God.
- A failure to recognize the sufficiency and superiority of the Word leads to:
- Pursuit of comfort, rather than obedience
- Personal experience as your authority rather than the authority of God’s Word
- Contemporary thinking as your guide for living rather than the principles of divine truth
- The church’s production of people who pursue their own desires based upon an ungodly standard
A commitment to the sufficency of the Word is the basis of a biblical view of mankind.
An Accurate View of Man
- Mankind is totally depraved.
- On his own he cannot do good (Romans 3:10-18)
- His heart is deceitfully wicked (Jeremiah 17:9-10)
- His goal in life is selfishness and only evil continually (Genesis 6:5)
- Man was created to glorify God, but because of sin, he seeks to glorify himself (Romans 3:23).
- A sinner is alienated from God, and as a result, he will seek fulfillment from the world’s evil system (1 John 2:15-17). The implications are frightening:
- Christ will not be seen as the only solution to man’s needs.
- We will try to provide substitutes that promise fulfillment.
- We will tend to only address “felt” needs rather than “real” needs.
An accurate view of man helps us to understand the design of God in the building of His Church.
A Right Understanding of the Church
- The church exists to be a repository of divine truth (1 Timothy 3:15).
- The church exists to provide a context of loving fellowship with one another for the purpose of mutual edification (Ephesians 3:16-19; 4:12-16).
- The church exists as a training center whereby people can grow through the application of teaching and the utilization of their spiritual gifts.
- The church exists to be a light in this dark world, for the evangelization of God’s elect (Titus 2:11-14).
- A failure to correctly understand the purpose of the church leads to superficial and counterfeit ministry, resulting in disunity, where “program success“ is glorified rather than God. People become passive spectators rather than active participants. Then, the church becomes an organization, run by men and programs, rather than an organism of committed believers empowered by the Spirit of God.
A correct perception of the purpose of the church helps us to correctly understand biblical leadership.
The Priority of Biblical Leadership
- We must reflect the character of Christ to be models for the flock (1 Thessalonians 2:4-12; Ephesians 5:1-2).
- We must adequately equip our people to do the work of the ministry (Ephesians 3:20; 4:12).
- We must provide ample opportunity for them to do this work (Hebrews 10:24-25).
- A failure to correctly understand biblical leadership leads to unbiblical discipleship and skewed ministry priorities.
- A lack of biblical priorities leads to ministry in sin with a focus on skills or ability rather than godly character. This will inevitably lead to disqualifying sins.
- Lack of adequate equipping for the task leads to frustration, which can produce a high turnover of lay leadership.
- Lack of adequate equipping leads to the failure to reproduce oneself in ministry, which results in the few “faithful” doing all the work.