We’ve been preaching on effectual working. First, we discussed that effectual working requires learning. You must learn to hear God, to fear God, to obey God, and to know God. Then we discussed that effectual working requires training. Those of us who can train others must train them by example, by instruction, and by entrustment, whereby we commit to faithful men those things that have been committed to us.
As you grow, you continue learning. Your walk with God strengthens, you are familiar with God’s leading in your life, you continually grow in your knowledge of God, and you learn more and more about the fear of God and its benefits in you life. You never stop learning.
At the same time, you start training to work for the Lord. You are being trained to follow the example of others with whom you spend time. You are being trained by their instruction and by practicing what they are teaching you to do. And you are eventually entrusted with a responsibility to carry on in the ministry as God leads.
Tonight we are going to preach on how to work in the ministry of a local church after training. When you first become a member of a local church, it is important that the church minister to you. I always recommend to new prospective members, who have served in another church, that they sit a while and learn from the word of God that we teach and preach. After a while, you and we will be able to see and understand where you fit in the work of the ministry.
Once you start working, you must remember that effectual working requires serving. Effectual working requires:
Serving with a servant’s heart – Col 3:22-25. See also Eph 6:5-8. A good servant is an obedient servant. Co 3:22 says, “Servants obey in all things…”. Ideal servants do what they are told to do, when they are told, they way they are instructed to do it. You can count on a servant with a servant’s heart to get a job done right because he serves heartily as to the Lord. Eph 6:6 says, “as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart.” They don’t serve “with eye service, as men-pleasers.” They do their work “as to the Lord,” Eph 6:7, “in singleness of heart, fearing God,” Col 3:22. These servants “serve the Lord Christ,” Col 3:24, and aren’t looking for recognition. Their reward comes from the Lord, Col 3:24. The most effectual work is done by those with a servant’s heart. They say, like the servant in Lk 17:10, “we are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.”
Serving with a servant’s attitude – Matt 20:25-28. See also Jn 13:15-17. The attitude of anyone working in the ministry should be the attitude of Jesus Christ. Matt 20:28 says that “the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” Therefore, following his example, Jn 13:15-16, a servant does his or her most effectual work when he or she is “your minister,” Matt 20:26 or “your servant,” Matt 20:27. Pastors, particularly, even as overseers, are not “lords over God’s heritage, but (are) ensamples to the flock.” In this way, the whole church serves the Lord, who is the head.
Serving with a servant’s character – Lk 19:17; Matt 25:21, 23. The character of a good servant is faithfulness. In the parable of the talents and in the parable of the pounds, the “test” was to see which servants were faithful. The Lord in both parables was testing the faithfulness of the servants, because he was looking for those who would rule over many things and have authority over cities. The servants who work the most effectually in the ministry are the servants who are faithful. You rarely have to follow up on anything you give them to do because they are faithful. That’s why you entrust them with more responsibility.
Conclusion: When you are given the opportunity to work, make sure you have a servant’s heart, to serve as to the Lord; a servant’s attitude, to minister to others; and a servants’ character, to be faithful. You will be very effectual here and well rewarded hereafter.