Thursday, February 3, 2011

True Ministry

The other night, my husband and I were discussing ministry and some of the great preachers and singers in Christian history who....let's just say, "had it!"  We talked of two in particular: Leonard Ravenhill, one of the greatest preachers of the 1900's from England, and Keith Green, probably our favorite singer/songwriter/musician of all time.

It was pretty fitting for us to end up talking about those two men, my husband being a preacher and me being a singer.

We talked about their urgency, their faith, their example and inspiration, and their uncompromising truth that they not only proclaimed - but lived. Above all, though, we talked about their passion! Being a singer, I never want to get to the point where I sing for the applause, for the attention, for the prestige, or for compliments. I never want to sing to put on a show. I never want to NOT sing because "I never get compliments" on this song or that song. I want to, as my grandfather used to tell me, just sing! And when I sing, I want to bless, to minister, and to connect with those listening. I want every song to move someone closer towards Christ. Otherwise, I waste God's time. Grant is no different. As we talked last night, he was telling me about a particular sermon he had listened to by Leonard Ravenhill and said, "I want to preach with that passion. I don't ever want to preach to just make myself better. I want to preach and see someone saved! I want to do what God called me to do...not so I will look good or get something out of it, but because He TOLD me to."

It is a great shame, nowadays, that most preachers and singers and proclaimers of the gospel care more about their own physical image, than the image of God. It is a shame that they think of their high calling as more of a business than a ministry. It is a shame when they care more about their paycheck than the lives that need to be led to Jesus. It is a shame that so many use the banner of "ministry" to build themselves up and draw eyes to their personal accomplishments than to Jesus Christ. It is a shame that many who call themselves "ministers" do more "entertaining" than true ministering.

God forbid that I miss Jesus.

God forbid that WE, as Christians, miss Jesus and our calling. Every one of us are called to minister in some form or fashion. It may be "on stage" as a singer, musician, preacher, or teacher. It may be in the jungles or desserts of other countries as a missionary. It may be simply in your workplace, school place, family, or community. Regardless of WHERE, we are all called to serve and to minister to those we meet. God forbid we forget....

My prayer for myself....and for that we will continually take our eyes off of prestige and personal glory and cast them upon the cross; the bloody, uncomfortable, rough, and heavy cross that Jesus told us to "take up." And as we take it up and walk the narrow road, may we live for the applause of Christ as we reach the lost sheep that He came to save. That is true ministry.

Quotes by Leonard Ravenhill:
"Today’s church wants to be raptured from responsibility."

"If weak in prayer, we are weak everywhere."

"Men give advice; God gives guidance."

"Are the things you are living for worth Christ dying for?"

"The only reason we don't have revival is because we are willing to live without it!"

"The Church used to be a lifeboat rescuing the perishing. Now she is a cruise ship recruiting the promising."

"My main ambition in life is to be on the devil's most wanted list."

"If Jesus had preached the same message that ministers preach today, He would never have been crucified."

"God pity us that after years of writing, using mountains of paper and rivers of ink, exhausting flashy terminology about the biggest revival meetings in history, we are still faced with gross corruption in every nation, as well as with the most prayerless church age since Pentecost."

Quotes by Keith Green:

"This generation of Christians is responsible for this generation of souls on the earth!"

"If your heart takes more pleasure in reading novels, or watching TV, or going to the movies, or talking to friends, rather than just sitting alone with God and embracing Him, sharing His cares and His burdens, weeping and rejoicing with Him, then how are you going to handle forever and ever in His presence...? You'd be bored to tears in heaven, if you're not ecstatic about God now!"

"If somebody writes a great poem, people don't run around applauding the pencil, saying 'Oh, what a great pencil'...I'm a pencil in God's hands."

"The only music minister to whom the Lord will say, "Well done, thy good and faithful servant," is the one whose life proves what their lyrics are saying, and to whom music is the least important part of their life. Glorifying the only worthy One has to be a minister's most important goal!"

"I repent of ever having recorded one single song, and ever having performed one concert, if my music, and more importantly, my life has not provoked you into Godly jealousy or to sell out more completely to Jesus!"

1 Timothy 1:12
"And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry."

2 Timothy 4:5
"But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This was an awesome post Kristen, thank you for posting it, it really moved and convicted my heart. I've been back several times to read and listen.

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