Respect is not claimed by inheritance, title or position; it is earned in the trenches of daily life.
It is easy for a person in places of spiritual influence to do things that diminish the significance of their own servant-leadership and all who serve in similar roles. It is wise to constantly magnify the ministry – to hold each other in high regard and behave in ways where we ourselves are above reproach. How can we do it?
- Respect its importance. No irreverent man dare preach the gospel. This is expressed in Paul’s question, “Who is sufficient for these things?” Doing God’s work as a preacher of the gospel is not just a career choice.
- Be thankful you are allowed to be in ministry. Paul said, “I thank Christ Jesus my Lord for that He hath enabled me, putting me into this ministry.” Be thankful for those you lead. It concerns me when preachers besmirch the people they serve. Ministry is not simply about preaching . . . it is about people. Magnify the office by serving people.
- Our office is magnified by study. Prepare yourself – constantly be preparing, studying, gathering materials, filing things away for a different day. We are to be diligent to show ourselves approved unto God, workmen that need not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. Paul was a student. He not only quoted the Old Testament but was conversant enough with Greek philosophers that he quoted them with accuracy. He magnified the ministry through study.
- To magnify your office, wholly do it. That is ministry is not one thing among many things. Paul said, “This one thing I do.” No hobby, no secondary career, nothing should ever get in the way of magnifying the ministry. Sell your life out completely to His great commission.
- Magnify the office by regarding what God has committed to you as being more important than any other position or role. It is a seductive thing to yield to selfishness in making decisions as to where one should preach and what he should preach. It is easy to preach for response and to cause people to say, “Wasn’t that great!” But that’s not the calling. The one place the words “called” and “preach” are in close proximity in the Bible is when Paul said he was “called to preach the gospel” in Macedonia. Called to declare the good news! Be a herald of good news!
- Magnify the office by continually renewing your consecration. Ministry and dealing with people is draining so constantly renew yourself through prayer and study.
- Magnify the ministry by lifting up other preachers. It has been said, “A rising tide lifts all ships.” When one speaks well of another that creates a rising tide. Mutual honor increases the significance of the “office.” Elders you magnify the ministry as you invest yourself in the process of mentoring younger preachers.
What have you done today that will magnify the ministry?