When preparing for ministry, you need to start thinking soberly about it all, the way God thinks. To think biblically is the beginning of a lifetime of reasonable service to other people.
CONSIDER THIS: When you were just a child, no one had to teach you how to cheat, to lie, or to be rude by not sharing your toys with others. As you grew older, those “skills” of sinful depravity began to blossom even throughout adulthood. Now you’re a professional at lying, at cheating, at being rude to others. In fact, we’ve become so “good” at being bad, we can do these things without even thinking about them. They just come naturally.
We’re all a bunch of sinners, after all.
Then someone told you the good news about Jesus Christ and how He can save you from your sin so that you won’t have to go to Hell forever. That gospel message resonated with you and you jumped at the opportunity to trust in Jesus Christ alone for your salvation. God saved you. God immediately gave you His Holy Spirit and He called you into His kingdom. He has a place for you in heaven. He even gave you spiritual gifts which He, Himself, specifically measured out to you so that He would bless people through your efforts. All that God asks of you as a bit of reasonable service.
That doesn’t sound unreasonable…does it?
Saved from Hell, given Heaven, God Himself lives and abides in you, armed with supernatural abilities to bless people by serving them; involvement in ministry seems like reasonable service, does it not? Yes, it certainly does!
The Pursuit of a Reasonable Service
Know this, first and foremost: The Christian life is not about what you can GET, but about what you can GIVE to other people. That’s correct. God left you here in this world to worship Him while serving others. It is every Christian’s reasonable service to the Lord for all He has done for us. But how can you prepare for ministry? What should a Christian do before he or she dives in and begins his or her reasonable service for the Lord. ANSWER: Presenting your body to God is the necessary first step before ministering to other people.
Here is what the apostle Paul wrote to the church in Romans 12:1-2.
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
Before embarking upon a ministry to others, you should be sure to go through this Romans 12 checklist, preparing yourself for reasonable service. Here are 9 things to consider when preparing for ministry as your reasonable service to God:
1. You must be a Christian.
The apostle Paul wrote these things to the “brethren.” These tips are for Christians only. There is no reasonable service offered to the Lord or others if you are still in open rebellion against God by rejecting His Son, Jesus Christ. And because these commands of “reasonable service” are for Christians, then every Christian should be involved in ministry. God doesn’t care if you are eight years old or eighty-eight. If you’re a believer, you need to be involved in a reasonable service. God also doesn’t care what your health is like. You may be bedridden but you’re still inhaling and exhaling. And since you’re still living, God isn’t finished using you to minister to others.
2. Contemplate God’s mercy to you.
The admonition to the “brethren” is: “by the mercies of God.” You are a recipient of God’s mercy, so think soberly about this sovereign mercy to you and how you can serve others.
3. Present yourself as being available to God.
The command (not a suggestion or recommendation) is to “present your bodies.” God isn’t asking for you soul, but your body. You provide a reasonable service to others in the fleshly tent you are wearing. You need to develop the mindset of: Here I am, Lord, use me!
4. Allow yourself to be sacrificed on the altar of ministry.
God wants you in this world as “a living sacrifice.” Not dead, not comatosed, not a couch potato, but a living sacrifice. He wants your life. God gave you eternal life and He expects your reasonable service in this life, as you sacrifice yourself for others.
5. Confess, repent, and cleanse yourself of sinful activities.
You’re not likely to want to worship God if you’re secretly cheating on your wife, viewing things on the internet that you shouldn’t (such as pornography), or gossiping about people let and right. No, you won’t, and you won’t want to serve other people, either. That’s why the apostle Paul said we are to present ourselves as “holy, acceptable to God.” God wants you holy, not unholy. This speaks of your daily walk, your lifestyle. Stop sinning and start serving!
6. Understand that ministry to other people is a reasonable service offered.
You offer it, willingly. It isn’t to be a guilt trip but something you do from your heart’s desire to love your neighbor as yourself.
7. Don’t take on the external appearance of the world.
The world hates God and doesn’t worship Him or serve other people for His glory. If you don’t minister to the needs of other people, you’re acting just like the world. Paul wrote, “do not be conformed to this world.” This means to take on the outward, external appearance of sinful humanity.
8. Devote yourself to being transformed from the inside out.
The Greek word for “transformed” is the word that we get our English word metamorphosis from. It means to be changed from the inside out. This is the complete opposite of being conformed to the world. To be conformed to the world is to paint a facade around ourselves, which is deception. Here God is telling us to be transformed from the inside out, as that is a necessary step in the process of a reasonable service.
9. Realize that once you do this, God’s perfect plan for your life will be revealed to you.
So there you have it. Nine things to consider when preparing yourself for ministry which is your reasonable service to God. Now all you have to do is start today!
QUESTION FOR COMMENTING BELOW: I’d like to hear about the very first ministry you ever got involved with after you became a Christian. Please comment on it below. I will comment on mine there as well.