Before you sign up as a volunteer at your local church, please consider these sobering thoughts from 2 Timothy 2.
The letter of 2 Timothy was written by the Apostle Paul to Timothy, a younger gospel worker. Paul was in a dungeon in Rome because of his faith in Jesus and awaiting execution. Paul’s final instruction to Timothy was to encourage Timothy to devote his life to the communication of the glorious gospel about Jesus, despite any hardship, suffering or persecution.
Here are 6 reasons, according the Apostle Paul, not to serve in ministry in 2018:
The big question the REACH SA Generate Conference sought to answer was, “How should the church (and how we do church) respond to a changing culture?”
The answer was that we must “make sure we know why we exist and remain faithful to that; and feel free to change the rest.”
We exist to reach non-Christians and grow Christians with the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. That truth is fundamental and unchangeable. How we manage the programmes and processes that go towards that great goal are flexible and changeable.
People, in general, like to sing. Whether they are very religious or total atheists, most people like music and song. Ask any football supporter. From singing, “Who ate all the pies” to the referee or “You’ll never walk alone” to their mates, fans like singing.
Fans pays hundreds of Rands to hear their favourite musician sing, even wave their cell phones and sing along.
In the morning, you might catch yourself singing in the shower.
Music is an inherent part of every society. All countries have National Anthems that its citizens sing together to create national unity.
Most people like singing. We may not be good at it, but we love it. Since music (and song) is such an important part of life, it should not be surprising that the Bible says much about it. In fact, the longest book in the Bible is a song book—the book of Psalms.
Often, in the Bible, when God has delivered his people, they sing about it.
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, (and by implication, sisters) by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship… (Romans 12:1)
The apostle Paul wrote to Christians (he calls them brothers, and by implication, sisters) and used the word “therefore” in Romans 12:1. Paul said, “As a result of all that I have written in Ch. 1-11 about the mercies of God, I urge you – as a necessarily consequence, present your bodies as a living sacrifice”.
We are familiar with the idea of separation. We’ve all experienced it at one time or another.
Jesus taught that at the end of this age there is going to be a separation. According to Jesus, this world is not going to continue forever. There will be a supernatural end, a cataclysmic event, a universal conclusion to this present age. Jesus called this “the Son of Man coming in his glory”. Jesus, who first came into our world as a baby born in humble circumstances, will return again as the all-powerful King, who sits in judgment over the nations of the world. Then there will be a separation between what Jesus refers to as goats and the sheep. Those that belong to Christ, the sheep, the King welcomes them into his kingdom. To the goats, those who have rejected Christ, the King says the exact opposite: to depart from him “into the eternal fire” of “eternal punishment”. (cf. Matthew 25:31-32, 41, 46)
Being a pastor can be a really tough job. We love the church and feel honoured to teach God’s word. But we go through our spiritual highs and lows. We feel discouraged at times. We often feel that our sermons are boring and having no impact. We are tempted to focus just on the wrong in the church and forget what’s right. Sometimes we just have bad days or bad weeks. Many times we are discouraged by our own sinfulness.
As an ordained minister in REACH SA (Reformed Evangelical Anglican Church of South Africa) I was invited to our clergy conference from 13-16 April 2015. We had the privilege of having Phillip Jensen from Australia as our speaker. Phillip’s expositions in 2 Corinthians about the church and ministry were very helpful and encouraging. Below is a summary of some things I learnt.
On Sunday I led our church through some set prayers in our REACH SA Prayer Book. Non-conformists, more independent types might want to deride me as being too clinical and stayed, not allowing “the Spirit to move”. “We need to be led by the Spirit in our church services!”, they cry.
I understand the concern, but let me explain why we use the Prayer Book to help us with our liturgy.
Apparently the latest trend is for husbands and their wives to “co-pastor” and “co-lead” churches. On trendy churches’ websites there is most times a picture of the dynamic ministry duo introducing themselves as “pastors so-and-so”. Is this right? Should churches be lead by couples? Perhaps even more controversially, should churches be lead by women?
1 Corinthians 14:33-35 speaks to the role of women in the church. This passage has been a hugely controversial passage over the years and a massive problem for feminists.
As in all the churches of the saints, the women should keep silent in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be in submission, as the Law also says. If there is anything they desire to learn, let them ask their husbands at home. For it is shameful for a woman to speak in church. (1 Corinthians 14:33-35)
Today we have a huge obsession with food. My two favourite TV programmes are Masterchef and Come dine with me. Never before in human history have we been so obsessed with the style, presentation and taste of food.
Food of course is a good gift from God that he has given for our enjoyment, but we can easily turn a good thing into a bad thing – if we become too fixated about it! Christianity has its own meals also. The Apostle Paul referred to fellowship meals among the Corinthian Christians as “the Lord’s meal” – in actual fact those Christians were behaving so badly that Paul said it was not the Lord’s meal (“supper”, 1 Corinthians 11:20) they were celebrating.