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Facts of the Matter

A weekly letter of encouragement and challenge to business and professional men and women
Wednesday, September 13, 2006
Dear Colleagues,

LAUNCHING A MINISTRY FOUR IMPERATIVES

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#1  Define your ministry.  Answer the question, What am I going to do?  Write it down.

Launching a ministry, like launching a business cannot be a hit and miss proposition if it is to succeed. A quarter of a century ago a young man, fresh out of formal training asked the question, Where is the fastest growing place in American where I can plant a church? Well, he found it and on very limited resources studied the people in that area, defined his target, and figured out how he was going to reach them.  And reach them he did! Many feel that Saddle Back Church in Southern California is one of the most dynamic and significant churches in America today.  If you have read, The Purpose Driven Church, or The Purpose Driven Life you realize that Rick Warren had carefully thought through in defining his ministry.

Live life with a due sense of responsibility, not as men who do not know the meaning and purpose of life but as those who do. Make the best use of your time, despite all the difficulties of these days.  Dont be vague but firmly grasp what you know to be the will of the Lord.  (Eph. 5:14-17 Philips)

QUESTION: Are you crystal clear as to what God would have you do ministry-wise? If not, it might not be a bad idea to take your Bible and notebook and get a day alone with God, asking Him to clarify it for you.

#2  Define your mission field.  Answer the question, Where am I going to do it? Write it down.

Is your primary ministry to children at risk? Or to fellow financial professionals in the marketplace?  Or to folks in your neighborhood? Both Jesus and Paul had a clear sense of the people to whom they were to minister:

Jesus: One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God. When morning came, he called his disciples to him and chose twelve of them, whom he also designated apostles.  (Lk. 6:12,13)

Paul:  During the night Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and begging him, Come over to Macedonia and help us. After Paul had seen the vision, we got ready at once to leave for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.  (Act. 16:9, 10)

QUESTION: Are you clear as to your target group? Or does easy opportunity define the will of God ministry-wise?

#3  Work out a simple plan.  Answer the question, Do I have a strategy to accomplish this ministry? Write it down.

Ask: Who needs Christ in my target group? Write their names down and begin praying for them. Who needs discipling? Write their names down and begin cultivating their trust. Ask God to help you with a simple, workable plan. 

QUESITON: Do you have a carefully thought through strategy on how you intend to influence these people for Christ?

#4  Keep it going.  Answer the question, How do I  plan to sustain this ministry? Write it down.

But this precious treasurethis light and power that now shine within usis held in perishable containers, that is, in our weak bodies. So everyone can see that our glorious power is from God and is not our own. We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed and broken. We are perplexed, but we don’t give up and quit. We are hunted down, but God never abandons us. We get knocked down, but we get up again and keep going. Through suffering, these bodies of ours constantly share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies. Yes, we live under constant danger of death because we serve Jesus, so that the life of Jesus will be obvious in our dying bodies. So we live in the face of death, but it has resulted in eternal life for you. (2 Cor. 4:7-12 NLT)

QUESITON: Have you already resolved in your heart that you will stay in the battle no matter how daunting the circumstances?

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