Portrait of a Personal Ministry Day 1
Every single time God saves a person He then baptizes them by the Holy Spirit into the church. By being placed in the church in this way, God also gives each Christian an area of ministry I refer to as personal ministry. God gifts you as a believer for this ministry and opens up opportunities for you to serve in that capacity. There is no personal ministry in the church which is unimportant. All of them, if done as unto the Lord under the power of the Holy Spirit, contribute to the well-being and success of the church.
Dizzy Dean was one of the best pitchers in baseball many years ago. He pitched for the St Louis Cardinals, St Louis Browns and Chicago Cubs from 1930 – 1947. He is the last MLB pitcher to win 30 games in 1934. He was strong, athletic and a world-class professional athlete. Unfortunately, Dizzy Dean’s career was cut short because of injury. Was the injury that ended his career a blown out shoulder or knee? Was the injury that ended his career a broken leg or arm? Or, maybe the career ending injury was a broken back? The truth is that it was none of those. The injury that ended Dizzy Dean’s career was a toe injury. A line drive hit his big toe. The toe was so sore that, when Dean pushed off the mound in his pitching motion, he could not put weight on it. He had to compensate by turning his foot the wrong way, and this put too much strain on his arm. Eventually, he threw his arm out because of the big toe injury.
In the same way that a non-functioning member of the human body can short circuit an athlete’s career, a non-functioning member of the church body can short circuit the ministry of the whole. Each of us who has been born again has been equipped with certain gifts to carry out within the church. God has privileged each Christian with an area of personal ministry. It can be of great help to every Christian to see the pattern of a personal ministry lived out. God’s work through Peter reveals to us a portrait of a personal ministry. In this passage, there are some clear truths to learn about personal ministry.
It is a Ministry of Participation: 9.32, 36-41
32.Now it came to pass, as Peter went through all parts of the country, that he also came down to the saints who dwelt in Lydda
36.At Joppa there was a certain disciple named Tabitha, which is translated Dorcas. This woman was full of good works and charitable deeds which she did. But it happened in those days that she became sick and died. When they had washed her, they laid her in an upper room. And since Lydda was near Joppa, and the disciples had heard that Peter was there, they sent two men to him, imploring him not to delay in coming to them. Then Peter arose and went with them. When he had come, they brought him to the upper room. And all the widows stood by him weeping, showing the tunics and garments which Dorcas had made while she was with them. But Peter put them all out, and knelt down and prayed. And turning to the body he said, “Tabitha, arise.” And she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter she sat up. Then he gave her his hand and lifted her up; and when he had called the saints and widows, he presented her
In both of these passages, Peter comes across more opportunities for ministry as he begins to be active in serving. Serving in Lydda led Peter to Aeneas. Healing Aeneas made word spread. As word spread, and the servant named Tabitha died, the disciples in Joppa sent for Peter. They knew Peter was in Lydda, because word had spread about Aeneas. As Peter participated in ministry, God opened up more opportunities for ministry.
Time after time, Scripture seems to show examples of people who are called by God as they begin to serve. Dr. Tony Evans, of the Oakcliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, Texas says, “God hits a moving target.”