Wednesday, February 3, 2010
My Basics of Ministry
Before we graduate from TTC, it is our FE requirement to write a philosophy for doing ministry. Below is my 3 foundations to the way I do ministry :
a) I am the branch, He is my Vine
The foundation of ministry and calling is my relationship with God, who am I in Him, then my calling, for without Him, there is no calling, there is no ministry. Matthew 7 : 21-23 (“Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!”) serves as a serious reminder for me to work out my salvation with fear and trembling, to jealously guard my relationship with Him and not to lost myself in “serving” Him.
My Boss tells me to "Remain in Me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in Me." (John 15:4)
During one of my visits to Joan's house, Aunty told and encourage me that if I cannot intentionally connect myself to God, draw from Him daily, the Source of my entire being and ministry, I might as well not go into full time ministry after TTC.
b) I am fearfully and wonderfully made
Rev Foo Chee Meng in his final CPE evaluation encouraged me to continue to uncover my identity and person hood, to seek and know “Who is the self that pastors?” because the quality of my person hood forms or deforms the way I relate with people. At the end of the day ministry is all about people, His sheep and lamb that He brings along in my life. Intentional self awareness and reflection of my action and reaction with my Master will unveil my true self and recognition of my true self will hopefully enable me to minister out of a clean and clear river, hence, be the vessel that God can use to carry His clean waters to quench the thirsty and feed hungry. So, besides connecting with God, I have to connect with myself, my inner man, to do a stock take of my emotions and to know and understand what is going on within me. May God help me to be that clean vessel to carry fresh clean waters to feed His sheep, not murky or polluted water.
So, who am I? My identity as a person must be rooted in Christ and my calling embedded in who I am in Christ. Psalms 139 : 13-16 affirms that it is God who knitted me together in my mother’s womb, I am not an unplanned child. He had carefully made me with the right DNA combination, personality and gifts and specifically placed me in the family at the right moment to be born. I am His special child because He has engraved me on the palms of His hands (Isaiah 49:16). WOW! May I live, move and have my entire being in Him (Acts 17:28)!
c) What drives me in my ministry?
I know what drives me neither is not money, material gain, power, status nor fame that I have experienced and left behind because it was utterly meaningless. What drives me is something money cannot buy nor exchange for and I know deep down in my heart, it is the attraction and power of the Cross. “But because I am heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, I will share and partake in the suffering of Christ as much as the glory of Christ.” (1 Cor 8:17). I pray that by God’s grace, I can echo Paul’s words : For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain (Phil 1:21) and embrace the sufferings and the glory of the Cross. Indeed its no longer that I live but Christ that lives in me and the live which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me (Gal 2:20)
Hence, my body will continue to carry and bear the marks of the Cross as I step out of the doors of TTC to continue my journey, a step closer to where I am suppose to be, doing what my Maker wants me to do. After all, He always have my best in mind as He leads me on .....