Ministry is a challenging creature. Education, heritage, culture, doctrine, and training each can play a significant role in how it goes. Yet after years of OJT, I find rudimentary principles still apply; two of them really. Love God and love people. When one possesses these two traits, direction will follow.
Loving God isn't an official order. It is faithful emotion of the heart. One doesn't love God to stay out of hell. Rather, the love for Him is due to great fondness for God's heart and character and essence. We search for ways and excuses to discuss His good name. We love Him so much we rumor Him; spread the news that God is highly providing and protecting His great family.
To love people would seem simple enough. Not so fast. Many in ministry love the paycheck or the easy hours or the image; many things other than cherishing people. I noted this emotion racing through my heart today as I preached yet another funeral. While I was speaking I could not help but notice how I loved all in attendance. I want to speak life for I love the audience so much.
Love God. Love people. One may only have a Preaching School certificate while another might have his doctorate. Neither matters until the two loves are present. Until both are present, ministry is more like a dog chasing his tail. But when the two meet...yippee...the orderly system of God-productivity seems to roll!
Isn't that what Jesus taught? Love God with all of your heart, soul, and mind....and love your neighbor as yourself? Hmmmm....Jesus must have had a good feel for the basics in ministry.