Elements of full-time ministry Pt.2
Element #2- A Heart for the Ministry (2 Tim. 1:6)
In the last post, we started our discussion on what Derek Thomas calls the four elements of full-time ministry as is seen in 2 Timothy 1-2:2. The first mark of full-time ministry is having an unashamed fidelity for the gospel. Having an unashamed fidelity for the gospel is essential in a Christian’s walk because at many times and in many ways, believers are called to suffer, and it is for this reason that Christians should be unashamed of the gospel. However important this first element of full-time ministry is, it is wise to consider the other three to get a full perspective on biblical full-time ministry.
The second element of full-time ministry is what Thomas calls, having a heart for the ministry. The motivation for this element of ministry comes from verse 6 of chapter 1, “For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands”. There is actually much practical application being taught by Paul from this verse which makes it even more worth expounding.
Consider the fact that within this second element, there is a duel level aspect. Both God and His church are involved in having a heart for the ministry. At one level Paul reminds Timothy to “fan into flame the gift of God”. This is a reminder for all Christians, especially those in full-time ministry, that we are giving specific gifts from God to advance His kingdom. There must be recognition of these gifts and the fact that they are from God Himself and no one else. This is where the church plays her part. God is the one who appoints gifts of ministry to His people, but He has also chosen for those gifts to surface by the work of the church. This is why Paul finishes his statement by saying, “by the laying on of my hands”. In order for believers to recognize their gifts that were giving by God, we must take active part in a local church so that our gifts will surface.
The next logical step for Christians to take, as they have considered their gifts for the ministry, is to simply go and use these gifts for the ministry. In fact, Jesus calls us to go in Matthew 28 when the Great Commission is given. Christians are also called to be ambassadors for Christ because God makes His appeal through His people (2 Cor. 5). As a result of these commands, we as believers in Christ are to have a heart for the ministry. Christians are to love the gospel message so much that there is an over abundance of love for the lost to see them saved and Jesus glorified. Christians, go and fan into flame your gift from God in ministry. Grow to love Jesus even more through the recognition and developing of your God-given gift. Christians have a heart for the ministry!