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How To PREPARE For The WORK of Ministry
Stats: 8,631 words / Reading Time: 43.16 mins

Published: Wednesday, 25th November 2020

By: Gboyega ADEDEJI

How To PREPARE For The WORK of Ministry is read 1.4K times on CentreNDL.org 1.4K
  

HOW TO PREPARE FOR THE WORK OF MINISTRY

6 Steps You Must Take Towards Fulfilling Your God-Ordained Destiny In Ministry


Listen To Podcast: How To PREPARE For The WORK of Ministry

Tonight, we are considering something and I want us to pay rapt attention so that we don’t miss it. I don’t want us to take it like “oh, I have heard this before, this is an elementary stage of godliness”, but let us note it. We are looking at “How to prepare for the work of Ministry.” You know, throughout the month of October, we went from the beginning to the end of it looking at Missions and Missionaries and the work of Missions. I believe for somebody who has never thought that he or she is a missionary, such a person may be wondering: now that I have been told that I am a missionary, how can I prepare for the work? So, I believe the Lord is taking us further preparing us for the work He has called us into.

 

Now, the work of ministry is not restricted to standing on the pulpit and holding microphone to talk to people. It is not just about teaching, preaching and praying. The work of ministry involves everything that you are living for, and everything that you are prepare to live and die for. The question is: are you prepared for it? Let us go very quickly to the book of 1 Corinthians 16:5-12. The Bible says: “Now I will come to you when I pass through Macedonia (for I am passing through Macedonia). 6 And it may be that I will remain, or even spend the winter with you, that you may send me on my journey, wherever I go. I am sure you can actually notice some open ‘ended-ness’ in the structure of the language of apostle Paul. Apostle Paul was telling them that he will come to them when he passes through Macedonia, which means his passing through is sure but it is a matter of time.

 

So, you could see a man who had an attitude of a servant who is willing to serve wherever assigned. He was willing to go wherever he is sent and do whatever he is asked to do. I am sure we are familiar with the story of apostle Paul. When the man of God by the name of Agabus came and tie his girdle around himself and says “this is how the owner of this belt will be tied in Jerusalem.” Apostle Paul simply responded: “I am not only willing to be tied like that, but I am also willing to die” telling you his attitude as a missionary, his attitude as a minister, his attitude as a worker, one who serve the Lord. And this must become a foundational concept in our hearts. This matter is for those who could have this kind of attitude. Until you tell yourself: “I would go wherever I am being sent to, I will do whatever I am being asked to do”, you are not willing or ready for the work of ministry.

 

You know we started from the fact that apostle Paul was originally going through Macedonia, and then he said he will check on the folks. It is like a man saying “as I am now, I know where I am now, but where I am going afterwards, I don’t know. I don’t determine it.” The disciples asked Jesus in Acts 1, they said “Lord, when will you restore the kingdom to Israel? And Jesus told them, you do not know because all these things God has kept in His own authority.” There are certain things you could know and there are certain things you may not know. There is a place of a servant and there is a place of the Lord, there is a place of the Master and there is a place of the one who serves the Master. You know, you cannot start your concept or understanding of ministry with the mindset of you being the master. And so, God commit certain things to His own authority, He does not share it. Where you go, what you do when you get there is exclusive to God. These are things known to God from the beginning even before you were born. So, they are not left for you to figure out by yourself. So, let us continue, I believe we understand that background I just painted.

 

Let us continue from verse 7: For I do not wish to see you now on the way; but I hope to stay a while with you, if the Lord permits. Who did he say if granted the permission? Is it the federal Government? Is the Roman empire? He was not even referring to the king of Jews. He was referring to the Lord. And this is why you must understand that when you chose to work for the Federal Government of your nation, you become a civil servant under the government of that nation. When you chose to work for the United Nation, then you will simply become an employee of the United Nations, when you chose to work for God, you become a servant of God. So, you serve the Lord. So, we can understand that the probabilities in his conversation were tied to God’s permission. Do we see that? So, he would do things or go to places only if the Lord permits him to.

 

Verse 8-10 says: But I will tarry in Ephesus until Pentecost. 9 For a great and effective door has opened to me, and there are many adversaries. 10 And if Timothy comes, see that he may be with you without fear; for he does the work of the Lord, as I also do. That is why we are looking at How to prepare for the work of ministry. The work of ministry is not your work, it is the work of the Lord. How can you prepare for a work that you have not created for yourself? How can you prepare for a work that you are not the master of it? How can you prepare for a work that the creator of your life has made available for you? Dr. Myles Munroe usually say “in the kingdom of God, there is nothing like unemployment.” You cannot be in the kingdom of Christ and you tell yourself you are unemployed. Because in reality, the moment you realize who you are in the kingdom and you prepare yourself for what the Lord has prepared for you, you will simply deploy yourself in the kingdom. So, we talk about deployment, and not employment as it were. So, you could call yourself the “deployee” of the Lord.

Verse 11 says: Therefore let no one despise him. But send him on his journey in peace, that he may come to me; for I am waiting for him with the brethren. Is it possible for a man who does the work of the Lord to be despised? Yes! There was a time apostle Paul even sent a letter to Timothy saying “Let no one despise your youth.” You have been called and prepared and now doing the work, don’t let anyone despise your youth. But to the Corinthian folks, he commanded the entire church that no one should despise Timothy. So, you could be called by God and yet despise by men. God could give you a work and men could despise you doing it. So, that men despise you is not an indicator that the work is not a worthy work. And these are things that you must think about. Usually when we want to accept the work that the Lord wants to give to us, we usually want to accept the ones that no one would be able to despise.

 

If the president of Nigeria says for instance “come and become the special assistant on your development”, would you be despised doing such a work? No! Do you understand? Apostle Paul said “let no man despise you.” The reason why I need to emphasize on that part is because many things have been discussed with us already in that chapter 16 of 1 Corinthians. We have seen that as a worker in the kingdom, you serve the Lord. The Bible didn’t say you serve the ‘lords’, you only serve the Lord. So, that means you are not limited to men’s approval or disapproval for you to find relevance in a work that the Lord has given to you. We are not limited to the approval and the disapproval of men. That is why apostle Paul would always say that the gospel he preaches is not received from men but by the revelation from the Lord. So, has the Lord shows him, he also revealed it to the people he has been sent to. The gospel that apostle Paul preached was not gotten from men, all of us are aware of how the Lord met him.

 

He originally thought he was serving the Lord, but he didn’t know that he was displeasing Him until God met him. You will notice that many things that happened around his life happened while he was alone, he was being discipled quietly and then he began to work for the Lord. He did not wait for men’s approval before he started his assignment. You know if men have to call you, then you will constantly require their approval to remain in that calling. At that moment, you must never tell yourself that you are serving the Lord, but the men. But we are dealing with a situation where God calls you for a work in your own generation. Because the kind of works that the Lord will give to you is not just about you teaching, preaching and evangelizing, it has so much to do with you fulfilling your destiny and that you would not need any man’s approval for you to do it.

 

Imagine you waiting for me to approve you for what I don’t even know if you can do. So, you would wait for the rest of your life waiting for a man to approve. And then, they never came. There are people who really wish they start to do certain things, but they never did. Why? Nobody gave them the opportunity to do it. So, when we are talking about approval or disapproval, it also involves the issue of authority and praise. You want to do something and you want people to praise you doing it. But should they refuse to praise you, you are likely going to stop doing it. So, your calling or ministry is not tied to the praises of men, neither is it tied to the criticisms of men, but to the praises of the Lord and the rebuke of the Lord. The rebuke of the Lord there talks about Him chastising you. The implication of calling the Lord “your Lord”, it goes so much. It has so much to do with everything about your life. The Lord rebuking or chastising you is an inherent component of your ministry.

 

Verse 12 says: Now concerning our brother Apollos, I strongly urged him to come to you with the brethren, but he was quite unwilling to come at this time; however, he will come when he has a convenient time. I don’t know why I have to read to this point but I think I know now. Here Apollos has been urged to come, but Paul said he will come at a time convenient for him. This somewhat negate the narrative that we have been exposed to in our earlier verses. But I can only wish that the time that is convenient for Apollos is also the time that has been approved unto him by the Lord. Let us quickly go to Acts 1:4-8. How to prepare for the work of Ministry.

 

And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem…” We are still going to go back to 1 Corinthians 16 that we left, but let us read this place in Acts first. The instruction was “don’t depart from”, which means remain in Jerusalem. Another word for remain is “tarry”, wait at Jerusalem. It says further: but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which,” He said, “you have heard from Me; 5 for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” 6 Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7 And He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. 8 But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

 

You remember in the Old Testament where the Bible says “you shall serve the Lord your God, and He shall bless your bread and water and take away sicknesses away from you.” So, you have been brought into the kingdom to serve the Lord your God. Do we remember, when God spoke to Pharaoh through Moses, he said “let my people go so that they may serve me.” So, if you think that you are a Christian to claim Christianity, I must tell you that you have actually been saved to serve the Lord your God. Let us assume that we are all women, and then we have our husband that is waiting for food. So, we go to the kitchen, we cook, we gather ingredients together, we sweated, different things we survived, and when we are done, we actually serve what we have cooked and bring them to our husband. Now, look at it, and then what do you do? You serve what you have cooked. At the moment you are serving, you are sacrificing your own comfort. You could have been somewhere else doing some other things.

 

So, to serve the Lord is usually in nutshell, you bringing everything that is available in you, making them to form a sense and productive entity and using them to serve the glory of the one who have sent you. Did we see that better now? God has given your hands, legs, good mind, He has given your heart and your whole body, looking handsome and beautiful. But if all you do is to look at the beauty and handsomeness, then there is less productivity, less fruit to show. But the moment you bring yourself out, then you are serving. If you even remember Acts of apostles wrote concerning David that after he has served his generation by the will of God, it means everything that was available in him, he made available for God to use. His generation was blessed by it and God was glorified in it.

 

So, when we are talking you serving the Lord, some people could have the impression and think the only time they can serve the Lord is when they lead men in worship, teach, or pray. It’s not limited to that. Is there anything God has given you skill to do? When you do it, to the benefit of mankind and to the glory of God, you are serving the Lord! So, you can serve the Lord wherever God sends you to, you can serve the Lord at anytime God commands you to do it. So, when you are talking about being a servant of the Lord and you ask yourself, “what have I got to serve with”, you have got your life. You have your life, and that makes it unique and with that life, you can serve the Lord.  Now let us continue from Act 1:12-14. The Bible says:

 

“Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day’s journey. 13 And when they had entered, they went up into the upper room where they were staying: Peter, James, John, and Andrew; Philip and Thomas; Bartholomew and Matthew; James the son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot; and Judas the son of James. 14 These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers.”

 

Let us go to Acts 2:1-4 now.

 

When the Day of Pentecost had fully come…” I am sure you note where we stopped in verse 14 of chapter 1. Bible says “these all continued in prayer and supplications and they did not galivant around, they stayed where Jesus told them in expectation of what God has promised them. Now, haven stayed, haven continued doing what God has told them to do, acts 2:1 now showed us what happened. When the Day of Pentecost had fully come they were all with one accord in one place. 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 Then there appeared to them…” those who have tarried. I am sure Jesus must have ministered to so many people but some of them were not even available at this particular day. I am sure they must have said “wow, such a revelation, Jesus!” Don’t forget, four thousands of them ate bread, imagine you eating a miraculous bread by the Lord Jesus Christ. Are you not supposed to dedicate your life for such a man?

 

So, you could see that it is possible for a man or woman to call himself or herself a Christian because when they were eating the bread, they saw themselves as followers of Jesus. There was a time Jesus said something and the Bible says a large number of followers left him. Just understand that there were people who had been with Jesus for three and half years yet they did not come to that place that Jesus asked them to come to. They did not do what Jesus commanded them do, and what was that? He said “they should tarry, they should wait.” So, it is not enough for you to say “I’m a believer or I’m a Christian.” Since you were born again what have you been doing since that time? Have you been jumping around or have you been waiting?

 

It says further, concerning those who had waited:

 

“Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit [Jesus said: “you will receive power when the Holy Spirit come upon you] and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. and Bible says “they were all filled with the Holy Spirit” in other words they were all filled with the power of God.”

 

So, if there was a moment in their lives, when they were all filled with the power of God, it means there was a moment in their lives that they were not filled with the power of God. Did we see that? When the day of Pentecost actually came, there came a sound from heaven like a mighty rushing wind and filled the place and the Bible says they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and we equal that with being filled with the power of God. So, what happened months or year before that time? So, it is possible for you to be in the church and you do not carry the power of God. The Bible told us about a people that have the form of God and yet denied the power there of. Having a form of godliness and lacking the power in it.

 

So, when you find religious people, they have all the appearance of been associated with God, yet without been able to demonstrate the power that God is able to release. It is possible to be religious and not work for God. Because, if you lack the power of God, you cannot do the work of God. The work of God can only be done by or through the power of God. There are some people who still haven’t heard about the Holy Spirt, some have heard but they are not convinced He exist. Jesus said “the Holy Spirit has not been sent to the world, but he has been sent to you.” It says the world does not even see Him and they cannot even believe what they cannot see, but you know Him because He dwells in you.

 

But yet, there are members of the body of Christ who don’t understand and yet to experience the ministry of the Holy Spirit. That shows they have actually been lacking the power of the Holy Spirit in their lives and yet they’ve been saying they are in the work of God. How can you do the work of Christ without the spirit of God? Bible says: And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”  So, they wouldn’t know how to speak if the Holy Spirit had not come upon them and given them utterance. Yet if you look at that chapter, the latter part of it, from verse 40-47, Bible says “after they had spoken, thousands were added to the church such as were been saved.” So, the church grew from 120 to 3,120 because they spoke. The Bible says “they spoke the words that the Holy Spirit gave to them, they spoke as the Holy Spirit gave them utterance”

 

 So, if speaking is working the work of God, if speaking by the Holy Spirit is doing the work of God, then it means without the Holy Spirit and its power a man or a woman cannot do the work of God. They wouldn’t have been able to do the ministry if they have not received the power of the Holy Spirit. So, a man who wants to do the work of God must understand that you can’t do the work of God by yourself with yourself, because if you say you can do it, it means that you are saying that you have two heads and Peter and the rest had one head. They were men like you, some of them were even more eloquent than you. You are a man like other Apostles in the Bible, and yet, they were limited in all they could do until the Holy Spirit came. If those talented guys like the apostles could not do much or anything until the Spirit came upon them, then you cannot do anything without the Holy Spirit.

 

So, think about your life, what is that work that God has given to you? Have you been thinking you can do it on your own? The answer is No. you will require the power of God to do the work of God. In the works of your hands, you also need the Holy Spirit to do it. To succeed in God, you need the Holy Spirit to do it. If you have been trying so much, you can do better with the Holy Spirit. Have you been a writer? You can write much more when the Holy Spirit empowers you. So, it is important for you to know. Apostle Paul said “a great and effectual door has been opened to me”, I will tarry here until Pentecost. There is a great responsibility and if I will succeed in that responsibility, I must wait. Others might be jumping around, I must tarry, I must prepare myself for the great and effectual door.

 

In this place that God has brought me to, I have an opportunity to serve, but if I must succeed, I need to tarry (wait) at Ephesus. For the disciples, Jesus said “wait, Tarry at Jerusalem.”  For some of us listening live in Bwari here, it could be tarry at Bwari. For somebody else, it could be tarry in Lagos or anywhere until you are prepared for the work. If you will not make a mess of your life and the work that God has called you to, you must learn to tarry. The place of waiting is not a place of wasting, if God had told you to wait, then you are not been wasted away. Your life, your time is not been wasted. Bible says in that Act that they began to speak as the Spirit gave them utterance.

 

I noted in 1 Corinthians 2:6-13, apostle Paul said:

 

“However, we speak wisdom among those who are mature, yet not the wisdom of this age, nor of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. 7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory, 8 which none of the rulers of this age knew; for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 10 But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. 11 For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. 13 These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.”

 

We speak the wisdom of God in mystery. How did we get it? We got it from the Holy Spirit, and we get it regularly from Him. Why? Because the Holy Spirit teaches it. When you hear the word ‘tarry’, tarry for what? You tarry to be taught by the Holy Spirit. When the Holy Spirit teaches you, He builds you up to the point where you are ready, you are capable to represent God, WHEREVER God has raised you up. God can raise you up and prepare you for any responsibility on the earth. You just have to learn to trust Him and to stay with Him. Don’t jump from places to places, from one organization to the other, you need to be taught by the Holy Spirit.

 

In the work of ministry and in the work of destiny, there are adversaries, there are those who will oppose you, oppose what you stand for. The moment you take a stand for something in life, then it gives people an opportunity to take another stand against your own stand. You are only not capable of having enemies, as long as you remain doing something, you will definitely have enemies. Having enemies, adversaries or opponents is inherent in your responsibility. When you are doing good, people will hate you doing it, when you are doing average, people will hate you doing it. The only time people won’t hate you is when you are doing nothing. I believe you don’t want to stay doing nothing, you have to live for something. And in Proverbs 24:10, Bible says: If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small.It is not because the enemies are bigger, your enemies cannot be bigger than God. It is just because you have little strength to contend with them.

 

Inside your work are adversaries. What should you then do? Build yourself to a level that you are able to contend with them. The Bible says in Psalms “the Lord said to my lord, sit at my right hand till I make your enemies your footstool”, “tarry in Jerusalem.” How did Jesus have enemies? Haven’t you wondered about it? How can God have enemies? The moment Jesus came to the world as God, and as man, He became the enemy of God, who was appraising and afflicting mankind. It is the purpose of Jesus that created enemies for Him. It is your purpose that would create enemies for you. What have you come to the earth to do? There are people who are committed to frustrating the realities of what you are created for. They stand and they become your enemies. Jesus came with adversaries and God said “sit at my right hand till I make your enemies your footstool.”

 

There is another place where the Bible also says “rule now, in the midst of your enemies.” So, your responsibility in the kingdom, your deployment in the kingdom is in the midst of your enemies. “You anoint my head with oil, my cup runs over. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.”

 

FIVE THINGS YOU MUST DO TO PREPARE FOR THE WORK OF MINISTRY

 

1 You must make Jesus your Lord and your King: Enough of you becoming a fan of Jesus. Being a fan of Jesus will never give you fulfilment in His kingdom. Jesus is not looking for fans, Jesus is looking for those who will follow Him. Don’t be a fan of the Lord, be a follower. I am sure Paul the apostle knew that Jesus was existing, but he was never a follower until that day he encountered Jesus on the road to Damascus.

 

2 Subscribe to the school of His Holy Spirit. Another word for ‘subscribe’ is ‘enroll’ or ‘submit’. When Jesus was going, He said “I will not leave you as orphans.” If you note the word ‘orphans’, it is different from the word ‘fans.’ Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to us before He left and He is our Father. When you relate with the Holy Spirit, you relate to your Father. Now that the Holy Spirit is in charge of your destiny, you subscribe to His school so that you will become a graduate of His school, so that when men see you, they will say “this one has been with the Holy Spirit.” In the days of the apostles they said they had been with Jesus. Why? In their generation, they knew Jesus. In this generation, let men say that you have been with the Holy Spirit.

 

3 You must wait on the Holy Spirit – learning the rudiments of your calling outside the public glare: Don’t learn the rudiments of my own calling, don’t learn the rudiments of apostle this, bishop that’s calling. You must learn the rudiments of your own calling and not anyone else calling. Your calling is peculiar to your life and your destiny. Nobody is saying well-done, nobody is criticizing you. In that moment, wait on the Holy Spirit. For those who think the Holy Spirit cannot correct you, He does. You can actually perform for the Hoy Spirit and He can give you honest assessment of whatever you have done. If you have done well you will hear Him, and if you have not done well, you will hear it from Him. If you have been lazy, He will also tell you. The Holy Spirit tells you the truth because He is the Spirit of truth.

 

4 Build Up yourself on your most holy convictions. I am sure we are familiar with “building up yourself on your most holy faith praying in the Holy ghost.” This time around, we are   saying build up yourself on your most holy convictions. That is: develop numerous stamina and strength ahead of the evil days. You remember the Proverbs 24:10 that we read earlier: “If you faint in the days of adversity, then your strength is small.”

 

5 When sent out by the Holy Spirit, go by His strength, speak His words, and move on His leading. As many as are led by the Holy Spirit they are the Sons of God (Romans 8:14). And in Acts of the apostle 13:1-4, when the Bible says about certain people that ministered to the Lord and when they were done, the Holy Spirit said to them “separate unto me Paul and Barnabas”, that is why you will know that the Holy Spirit is not your “boy-boy.” The Holy Spirit is not just there like someone who just want to hang around, the Holy Spirit is there to Lord your life. He has come to shepherd your life.

 

Fulfilling your destiny has nothing to do with the approval or disapproval of men. It only has to do with the Holy Spirit sending you out, blessing your work and accompanying you everywhere you go. When Jesus said “I am with you always even till the ends of the earth”, He was simply talking about the Holy Spirit being with you for the rest of your life.

 

6 Do not be afraid Christ companies you, everywhere [where ever] the Holy Spirit leads you. “Do not also steal the show from Him.” It is like a double-edged sword: Don’t be afraid, and don’t also get carried away. Don’t be afraid of those God sent you to, don’t be afraid of their faces. However, don’t become arrogant or ascribe any credit or glory to yourself. Do we understand that?

 

I believe you have learnt something!


Thanks for the gift of your time, I am Gboyega ADEDEJI!

Feel free to share your thoughts or testimony in the comment box below. I promise to respond to them as soon as possible!


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Word of Confession: (Optional)

Lord Jesus, I confess to you that I have sinned against the LORD God - in the rebellion of my heart, I have disappointed your expectations on my life. I have fallen from Your grace and followed wrong influences around me. Today, I retrace my steps back to you - and I ask that in your mercy you accept me as your son and give to me (again) the promise of the Father - the Holy Spirit. Lord Jesus, please, come and make my heart your home, and from there rule in the affairs of all men. In Jesus Name I have prayed.

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Self confidence in the heart of man is like moist in a wood. It makes TRANSFER (from place to place), and BURNING for true fireworks difficult. How easy can God send you around? How efficient are you in the work of MINISTRY?


Published: Gboyega Adedeji | Tuesday 26th November 2019


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Self confidence in the heart of man is like moist
  Self confidence in the heart of man is like moist
  Self confidence in the heart of man is like moist
  Self confidence in the heart of man is like moist
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Gboyega ADEDEJI

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