The Joys of the Ministry, Phil 2:1-2d



There are lots of pressures, prayers, griefs, and heartaches in the work of the ministry.  Sometimes, pastors think it would just be easier to be an evangelist, so that they wouldn’t have to get wrapped up in all the problems.  But there are some joys.  The joys of the ministry are:

Likeminded Christians working together – Phil 2:1-2; 1:27 – Paul wrote “Fulfill ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.”  These individual members of the church are not clones of the preacher, but rather members in one spirit, one mind, one love, and one accord.  It is an absolute joy to see you all working together, striving together for the gospel.  

Lost souls getting saved – 1 Thes 2:19-20 – Paul wrote, “For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming? For ye are our glory and joy.”  There is nothing to compare to the joy of seeing a lost soul come to Christ.  If you have never had the joy of leading a soul to Christ, get over your fear and tell others about Jesus.  When you see them get saved, you will know this very special joy of the ministry.

Saved souls walking in truth – 3 Jn 4 – John wrote, “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.”  Look at Paul’s joy in seeing Timothy, his son in the faith, 2 Tim 1:3-5, whose faith was unfeigned.  This is why we spend so much time in discipleship, Bible studies, and Biblical counsel.  We know folks that we led to the Lord 25-30 years ago who are still faithfully walking in truth in Bible believing, Baptist churches today.  What a joy!

Submissive saints obeying the rule – Heb 13:17, 13:7 – Paul wrote, “they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief.”  Look what Paul went through with the Corinthians, 2 Cor 2:1-9.  Writing to them was a grief but their obedience was his rejoicing.  He said of the Colossians, “yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ,” Col 2:5.  Just like parents joy when their kids are obedient.  We rejoice when teens going to camp are obedient and orderly.  We rejoice when all who work with youth in our church gladly keep the two-adult rule.  We rejoice when nursery workers adhere to the nursery rules.  What a joy for parents to know that their children are safe.  We rejoice when you follow Biblical counsel and see that it works perfectly.  We rejoice when young couple abide by the rules of premarital instruction and keep their hands off of each other.  We rejoice when you willingly wear masks, to protect each other from the possibility of getting sick with the virus.  This rule isn’t hard, it’s just inconvenient.

God’s minister finishing his course – Acts 20:24 – Paul said, “neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy.”  In 2 Tim 4:7, he wrote, “I have finished my course.”  Pastor DeMichele said, “I want to finish, I want to finish well, I want to finish clean, and I want to finish with joy.”  I pray to have the joy of finishing my course.  It’s been a pleasure to hear the joy Pastor Keck has in finishing his course and seeing Pastor Rick Matthews carry on as pastor of First Bible Baptist Church.  It’s a pleasure to see the joy Pastor Sowell has in finishing his course and seeing Pastor Jon Marshall carry on as pastor of Hope Baptist Church.  In due time, we pray to finish our course with joy.

Conclusion: let’s continue to have the joy of working together as likeminded Christians striving together for the faith of the gospel, let’s continue to have the joy of leading souls to Jesus Christ, let’s continue to joyfully walk in truth, let’s continue to joyfully obey the rules, and we will finish our course with joy.