There are what seem to be a million questions that people have about ministry and the Christian life. It seems there are a billion answers to those one million questions. Every answers isn’t clear, nor is every question for that matter. There is no fool proof way of doing ministry. There is no way any of us are going to be perfect Christians. (That’s why we need Jesus.) But there is something that should be really elementary we can do. We could ask the right question. I know there is a plethora of questions we all ask. Yet, there is one question I think we’d all be wise to ask. That is, “How does this glorify God?” or “Does this glorify God?”. (I know those are two questions that are ultimately coming back to the same thing, the glory of God.)
There are a lot of questions in our lives and in our ministries we never really need to ask. Those questions that have our glory at their ends should be revamped and asked again in the light of the glory of God. Because when we ask those questions that keep us first and foremost we find ourselves having to ask those questions again and again. None of the answers we find really truly satisfy us. When we make our ministries man centered we’re always looking for the next big thing to fill the ears of our hearers. The answers we find and give lack true satisfaction because we weren’t created to find satisfaction in creation. We were created to find our satisfaction in our Creator. He designed it that way. Being that he is the one who designed us, he knows us best. He even knows us far better than we know ourselves.
John Piper in his book Desiring God quotes Blaise Pascal,
There once was a man in a true happiness of which now remain to him only the mark and empty trace, which he in vain tries to fill from all his surroundings, seeking from things absent the help he does not obtain in the present. But these are all inadequate, because the infinite abyss can only be filled by an infinite and immutable object, that is to say, only by God himself.
We can look for fulfillment, happiness, success, and glory in our lives an in ministry among those seemingly billion answers to our million questions. But in Christ alone shall we find our answer. How successful we can look in the worlds eyes when we build an empire around ourselves or Reverend/Doctor so an so, of such and such church. But whose fame is displayed? Who is seen as beautiful? What is really being treasured? Who is exalted? If the answer to those questions in not Christ, your answers shall tremble and quake in light of eternity. When it is all said and done and we stand before God Almighty never shall the Hosts of Heaven and the myriad of saints bow down and say “Worthy are you Allen to unroll the scroll” nor shall it be said that “You such and such Community Church are the cornerstone on which the Church is built.” No, our ministries and our lives are not ends unto themselves, they are a catalyst in which the glory of the incomparable Christ is to be exalted. That is Christian living, that is successful Christian ministry.
For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen. – Romans 11:36