Theology of Ministry - Lesson 3

Christ as a Model for Ministry

The incarnation is the prism through which we view our entire missional task. Jesus’ attitude should be our attitude: no one is too small, no one is too lost, no one is too outside. Jesus’ ministry was characterized by authority. He gave the same authority to us. The Spirit’s came to give us power for ministry.

John  Johnson
Theology of Ministry
Lesson 3
Watching Now
Christ as a Model for Ministry

Christ as a Model for Ministry

I. Importance of Christology

A. Ministry must be incarnational

B. Ministry must be inclusive

C. Ministry must be kingdom focused

D. Ministry must be subversive

E. Ministry is to be salvific (redemptive)

F. Ministry must exemplify God

G. Ministry must be authoritative

II. The Spirit is the Power for Ministry

Class Resources
  • Theology is the clarification of convictions by which we engage in ministry.

  • During the Renaissance, some people began making a distinction between academic theology and practical theology.

  • The incarnation is the prism through which we view our entire missional task.

  • Christ embodied the OT offices of prophet, priest and king.

  • Ministry is a paradox of leading by serving.

  • We need to hear what God is saying through his word and proclaim it. A ministry of grace is characterized by a heart of forgiveness and reconciliation.

  • Ministry is participation in God’s work of transforming the community of faith until it is blameless at the coming of Christ.

  • There is no ministry without church and no church without ministry.

  • Our ministry is to be done in the context of community. We can't avoid institutions, but we can avoid institutionalism.

  • Each of us is called to God, then to serve the body with the gifts we receive from the Spirit. Some have a special call to leadership.

  • Character is what validates our ministry. We earn integrity by having a rigorous devotion to the truth.

  • Giftedness should reflect in your passion for ministry, what God is blessing in your life and what other people are affirming.

  • Our mission is to advance the kingdom of God, so we are in conflict with Satan trying to advance his kingdom. God has given us authority. We need to exercise it and stand against sin.

  • When people begin a new movement, it can create an opportunity for you to re-evaluate your theology and practice to determine if your ideas are biblical or based solely on tradition.
  • It’s important to have a theological basis for evaluating the effectiveness of your ministry.

  • Much of the daily work of ministry involves menial and mundane tasks. The glorious side of ministry overshadows the inglorious.

  • It’s important for your theology to inform your ministry and for your ministry to apply your theology.

Ministry is built upon sound biblical, theological and cultural foundations. Each generation of the Church must understand and build on these foundations, as well as discover relevant contemporary innovations and applications. This course intends to help you integrate an understanding of the Word and the world with the development of a personal philosophy of ministry.

At the end, it's a good exercise to write out you own theology of ministry that you could present to a board and/or articulate as situations in your ministry come up.


We looked to Christ as an essential model because he fleshed out ministry from the God’s eye, he was God in the flesh, and so we can learn a lot about ministry and who a minister is by looking at him, [00:30] and we see him as the over arching analogy. His ministry was a continuation of the Father’s, so our ministry is to be the same. And he makes that very clear in John 20:21 as the Father has, what? As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you.

And in that one statement, I think that’s a profound statement, [01:00] because, in that one statement he therefore is saying to us that we are an extension of what he did. He’s an extension of what the Father is doing.

When we think about our ministry it’s derived from Jesus’ ministry, the Father’s ministry and there he makes that link. Ministers do what they do because of who Christ is and what Christ does. I’ll say it again, ministers do what they do because [01:30] of who Christ is and what Christ does. If our ministry cannot be clearly established as the continuation of Jesus’ own intention and practice we lose its central theological premise. And I’ll say that one more time, if ministry cannot be clearly established as the continuation of Jesus’ own intention and practice, we lose its central theological premise. [02:00]

So, Christology is the essential start point in many ways for our ministry, that’s where ministry flows out of. It flows out of God, God the Father, God the Son, and that therefore, informs our missiology, which informs our Ecclesiology and some other classes I describe it that way, which is really important that Christology [writing on board] informs our missiology, [02:30] which then defines our Ecclesiology.

The point I’m making here is that the reference point, again, is God. The reference point here I’m talking about is Christ. And as we understand who Christ is, then we begin to understand what our mission is. And as we understand what our mission is, then we begin to understand the nature and place and purpose of the Church. Now, this may seem to be really [03:00] pretty simple and obvious. But, my observation of a lot of ministries out there is that it’s actually reversed. That ministry’s largely driven by Ecclesiology, which then informs the mission, which then almost defines who Jesus is.

What do I mean by that? Let’s say a church that is so focused on traditions and the way it’s always done things. So, why do we do what we do? [03:30] We do what we do, because we’ve always done it this way, Ecclesiologically driven, which therefore defines the mission, what they’re doing, which then begins to describe who Jesus is. Instead of stopping and saying, wait a minute, let’s first of all ask the question, who Jesus is, what Jesus did, that should tell us something about our mission, which therefore tells us about the institution called church. Christology is the reference [04:00] point.

Let’s talk about Christology then for a little bit here, in terms of ministry. What does that mean for ministry? Here’s the first thing, and I put it there on your notes. Ministry in is essence must be incarnational. So what this says to you and I as we think about theology of ministry, as we do our ministry out there, we’ve got to get in the flesh out there with people. Just as [4:30] Jesus was God in the flesh, and he brings his ministry into the world, we have to bring our ministry into the world where people are as well.

Michael Frost refers to the incarnation as the theological prism through which we view our entire missional task. I’m going to try to elaborate on that, but that’s an important statement to make sure you’ve written down. [05:00] [inaudible crosstalk] [05:01] The incarnation is the theological prism through which we view our entire missional task.

It really doesn’t inform our ministry and for us who minister to people, it informs their ministry. It’s hard to get across to people and get them to embrace it, but they’ve got to embrace it or the ministry dies. [05:30] And what that means are several things and I’ll go back to Frost here for a moment, who uses three statements here. It means first of all, a work of identification, but being at its essence incarnational, it means that, that first of all, there is this work of identification. Jesus identified with us. He took upon himself all the conditions, the struggles [06:00] of humanity, he identified.

Secondly, he uses the word locality. Jesus came into our location, entered into the depths of our world. He moved into the neighborhood. He experienced its life and its rhythms, John 1:14. A halfway house would not do. Jesus didn’t come half way; he came all the way, [06:30] the whole way. You can see what the implications are for ministry, we cannot go halfway. We’ve got to go all the way.

And the third phrase he uses here is, beyond in the midst, Jesus comes into direct contact. He’s eating with sinners, he’s going to their weddings, he’s at their tomb. He’s not [07:00] largely in an office staring at a computer screen, sending out emails.

So, therefore, we take our cues again, that’s what this lectures about today, we take our cues from God and so therefore by being incarnational, it means, first of all, we too are enter – Are to enter into the depths of the world. And so, we need to identify, which means that we do it without compromising the truth of the Gospel. [07:30] So, we identify, we enter into the locality, which means that if we are really doing ministry, we’re living where they live. We’re hanging out where they hang out.

Male 1: [07:48] Can you explain, beyond in the midst, a little bit more? I know that what you said after that, but did you mean that beyond just where two or three are gathered, there am I amidst, are what you were referring too?

[07:58] Well, again, I’m going back to Frost, who [08:00] I think in that phrase, beyond in the midst, means he wasn’t just in the midst of people, you know, around there. But he got, you know he, he sat down at the party in Mark chapter 2 and hang out with the – Hung out with the tax collectors. He got into their midst, he went further and deeper and probed into lives. He wasn’t just in the same geographical space.

So, locality speaks to geographical [08:30] space, I think the next phrase is saying no, it’s even further than that. To therefore, say to us, we need to be more than just in the same geographical area with people. So, it’s hanging out where they hang out, taking on their limitations and struggles. Which means, here’s a-a just a small application of this, it means as you think about where you’re going to minister, one of the essential questions you need to ask is this where I’m comfortable getting into the interior, [09:00] and if it’s not, my suggestion is maybe that’s not where you need to minister.

If you say, ya know that’s – I think there’s a real cultural disparity here, between who I am, what my background is. It’s not to say it can’t work, but given the chose, probably makes a lot of sense to go where you’re more inclined. Now, that’s not saying it will always work that way, God might say, I’m putting you here and you’re going to have to [09:30] learn a whole other cultural context, and that’s okay, because Jesus modeled that.

What all this means is, it’s not flying sorties, dropping occasional tracks, nor aiming a ministry that’s largely attractional. Phrase Frost uses, and he uses the two contrast, attractional versus incarnational. Attractional is, hey come, we got a great thing going here, we’re going to have free balloons,[10:00] you know, (laughter) free rides, it’s saying no, we’ve got to get into the midst of people.

I was talking to somebody the other day, that was describing his church in the Southeast, huge, huge southern Baptist church. Where they’ve got restaurants, they’ve got golf tournaments, they’ve got, I mean, everything under the sun, you name it, they’ve got it, come. So, the whole ministry’s is largely attractional. Come to us, we’ve got whatever your need is, meet us here,[10:30] which, not to say that that’s all necessarily bad. It is bad, I think, if that’s what you rely on to do ministry. As opposed to saying we can have some of these things, but our ministry is largely incarnational. Because, you see, that gets everybody off the hook. Oh, you know, invite your friends, instead of saying, no, I mean, that’s okay to, but what I want you to do is to get down deep into the lives of people. Who may not [11:00] set foot in a church door, no matter how many attractional things they have.

So, is there a place for attractional? Sure. There can be a great Christmas Eve service and it will tend by the nature of itself to attract a lot of people, if there is a place for it, great. But as I’ve observed and my personal experience, that doesn’t change many people’s lives. If somebody said to me, in all the years that I’ve pastured, how many people can you point to as a result of Easter or Christmas, are disciples [11:30] of Jesus? That I’ve had ministry with, I’d go, boy I-I don’t know. It’s not to say we won’t do those things, but you can’t base your ministry on that and this is what God, as a model of ministry tells us.

Jesus could of fallen into the subtle trap of Mark 1, that I was referring to before the break. Establishing a healing ministry, he could have had a big attractional ministry, right? Could of just put a big sign up [12:00] there, healing, Monday through Friday, eight to five, come you all be healed, we’ll have a great time. But, Jesus kept going out into the midst of the world, as we need to. He was one of us and we must become one of them.

So, Jesus enters into our language forms, he calls them to be fishers of men, he speak their language, we must speak their language,[12:30] a reminder that we must not use code language. We must not as missionaries, commit cultural imperialism, but we become them.

I tell you one of the things, and I try to teach overseas at least once a year, so this year, this summer, I was in India, last year I was in Beirut, it’s one of my goals. I got to get away from America every few months to get my sanity. But, here’s one of the thing that really [13:00] discourages me, a lot of times when I go to churches overseas, it’s like – They look just like church over here. Everything almost, the songs, the announcements even, and this last time I got so frustrated, I just kind of unloaded on the pastor.

Sometimes we just forget, we don’t understand incarnational, it means we get into the culture, into their language, into their forms. You know, when I was in Nigeria, one [13:30] of the great moments for me, in one Nigerian church was dancing. I mean, I’m not a dancer, but I tell you I danced when I was there. You just couldn’t help and it was so refreshing, and so much fun. But, imagine a missionary coming there and going, okay I want to make it clear, right from the start, no dancing in this church. Okay, dancing is, I don’t know where it is in scripture, but you know, we’re not going to do it. You know, and I’m sure they did completely misunderstand incarnational. [14:00] Was there a question?

Man 2: [14:05] In the church, we seem to push ourselves so far away from the culture in effort to kind of sanctify ourselves, kind of like Israel versus the Canaanites and we don’t want to be like those people and it’s pushed use away from the smaller incarnational missions in ministry and I wonder, where is the place for that, if any in the ministry we are going to be doing, I mean, how do you know when to draw a line [14:30] between, you know well, I need to be involved in these people lives, where it says, well I need to maintain a… [crosstalk] [14:37]

[crosstalk] [14:37] I wonder if, speaking of the church, if our people were truly incarnational. If we would be less inclined to feel like we need to make the church look a lot like the people when they come. Am I making sense? Let’s see if I can put it another way. And it goes back to attractional ministry, we try to make the church so much like what will accommodate to people that, in [15:00] fact, it looks a lot like secular life, except it’s got a little God overlay on it. And I wonder if we do that again, because we’re not being incarnational as we should. If we’re truly incarnational and if we’ve built those bridges, built those relationships, such that people really hunger for God, and we lead them to God, and we begin to forge a relationship such that they begin to grow and now they want to come to church. Now they’re ready to come in and enter something that is holy [15:30] and worshipful.

That’s a little bit like Sally Morganthaler, in her book, “Worship Evangelism”, that says what people really need to see and experience is true worship. Because they can’t then relate that to anything else in their lives, it’s truly radically different. And I wonder sometimes if churches and their seeker orientedness, so accommodate to culture, that people don’t see anything really different than what they – I’ve already experienced, so [16:00] after a while they leave. Because, yeah, I tried it, it wasn’t anything really different. So, I don’t know if that’s answering the question, if again, if people are truly incarnational in their approach, I don’t think the church has to worry in its gathering to accommodate. It can’t afford to be distinct, as it should be, but not distinct in terms of trying to be irrelevant, in the sense that it speaks a different language, etcetera.

Man 3: [16:30] Christians are so afraid being carnal, that they’re afraid to go out and be incarnational with people, they’re afraid to go out the tax collectors, so to speak.

[16:42] That underscores why the church has to keep as a gatheredness, and a sense of mission of strong discipleship. Because if that doesn’t happen there, and then you’re really promoting incarnational ministry, they will go out and if they’re not strong, they will probably [17:00] accommodate to and then not be incarnational at all. Good question though.

Ministry, secondly, must be inclusive. Jesus, again as a model for use in ministry, under – You know, demonstrated that, he identified with the poor, the oppressed, the outsiders, but he didn’t ignore the insiders either. But, he identified with the hurting, [17:30] he never identified with one class, but he did focus on the hurting, Mark 2, Mark 5, Mark 7. He did eat with the Pharisees, right? I mean, he did go to their dinners, but he also ate with others, that really offended the Pharisees. What he shows us, is no one is too small and no one is too lost and no one is too outside. Which [18:00] therefore, says to us as ministers, that we need to approach ministries in the same way, that’s our theology of ministry, no one is too small, no one is too lost, no one to outside.

If we say that then we’re, we’re not modeling Christ, because for him there was no one too small or too outside or too lost. Our message needs to be exclusive in a certain sense; [18:30] we’re declaring Jesus as the only way. The only path to God and yet, our ministry needs to be inclusive.

Thirdly, ministry must be Kingdom focused. I say that because this was the essence of Jesus’ ministry, as far as his message, the substance of his message, the center of his preaching was Kingdom, as it must be ours, Mark 1:38. [19:00]

So, Jesus goes out and he speaks Kingdom language, it’s things like this, the greatest or the least, the smallest is the most significant. What seems most absent is most present. He talks about his Kingdom in this kind of language that is giving hope. He did not allow his ministry to [19:30] be co-opted by other things. Kingdom focused, as our ministry must be Kingdom focused.

Ministry was also subversive, and he gives us that model as our ministry must be subversive. That is, Christ infiltrates the culture, and he deep constructed the religion of this day, and yet he was subversive in his approach. [20:00] He uses subversive tools, as Eugene Peterson describes them, they are the subversive tools of word and prayer and parables, and these are our tools for ministry. They’re subversive tools, aren’t they?

There is great power in prayer, but on the surface it appears rather harmless, innocent, [20:30] how many times secular people ask me in a secular context to pray, as if it’s some nice little polite, make us all feel good. I like Eugene Peterson, who one day someone said, hey pastor can you give a little prayer so we can start things off. And Peterson said, at that moment I wanted to stand up and say, there are no little prayers, anyone who prays [21:00] before the God of the universe takes his life in his hands, he may not come back out alive. I just loved to say that one day, wouldn’t you? [laughter] [21:11] I mean wouldn’t you? Any little prayer, just to shock people sometimes, don’t you understand what prayer can do? Prayer can bring a nation to its knees.

Male 3:[21:29] Can you [inaudible] [21:30] that?

[21:30] Yes.

Male 3:[21:31] [inaudible]

[21:32] Working the angles, I think his chapter, Praying by the book. [airplane flies overhead] [21:38] Jesus comes and he prays, who knows what he prayed, you know there when they woke up, in Mark Chapter 1 and he’s out there in the wilderness praying, but I bet you he was praying prayers that would profoundly changing things that they had no clue it was changing. As a model to us, but how many of us believe that prayer changes [22:00] anything? It is really one of our most subversive tools and I think we’ve been co-opted by the culture today and we don’t give a whole lot of credence to prayer, because we don’t believe in the power of prayer.

But this was his subversive tool and this other subversive tool was word, which again is something that has great power. Do you believe that? Jeremiah describe the word that way, that has the power to like a rock, shatter the [22:30] hardness of a heart, that like fire, when held inside will literally explode a person. How many times we look at the word that way? Hey gives us a little word, before we start, you know? Wouldn’t you just like to say it there? Is no little word, you may not come out alive after I read this text. [laughter] [22:52] Right, I mean wouldn’t you just like to say that some – Wouldn’t you just like to have the people you minister feel that way about the word of God? [23:00] These are subversive tools and parables.

Why did Jesus speak in parables? Is it just because he was into narrative preaching? Like story, I mean, this is what people likes, this is what relevant, this is what communicates. No, he spoke in parables because they were subversive language in action. Right? Again, I go back to Eugene Peterson, that says parables were nothing less than ticking [23:30] time bombs, harmless, nice little; gee that’s a nice little story Jesus, thank you. I don’t have a clue what he’s talking about, but it’s a nice little story, and then they’d walk home and they – All of a sudden, tick, tick, and then it explodes in their hearts and they realize my gosh he was talking about me, which really I think in effective preaching, sometimes, that’s the way it should work too. [24:00]

When I know I’ve failed in preaching on Sunday, is when someone comes up to me afterwards and says that was a nice sermon. That’s like the worst thing to say, almost, no, they’re worser things. [giggles] [24:12] But then I think sometimes, well maybe that’s okay, maybe that’s okay. Let them think it’s nice, let them think it’s nice and then let them drive home, and then maybe if the spirit of God is really working their hearts, which he is if they let him. Maybe suddenly they’ll go, wait a minute, [24:30] that wasn’t so nice. You know, I think I hate him. [laughter] [24:34] Right, isn’t that the way it suppose to be?

We don’t do this to be liked, I mean ministry is not a popularity, if that’s what you think it’s about, you know, boy, you better go to another school, because – Or another career because ministry is not, that’s not what it’s about. Jesus said, we are to be [25:00] like him and Jesus wasn’t necessarily popular. Because he was using the subversive language, words that appeared harmless, the stuff of cloth patches, right? That’s one of my favorite ones, I so, I’m so impressed with that, I never ever really understood it, and I’m not sure I really do, but it’s just right out in the blue, right in the middle of nowhere. Jesus, I just love that, you know. He goes, [25:30] you know, you don’t sew new cloth next to old cloth, because when it gets wet it’s going to rip and tear. I just love that, right out of nowhere. Can you think of anything more mundane? Hey, I got a little sewing tip today; you all know this don’t you? [laughter] [25:48] You know you don’t sew this way.

I think of it like this way, you know you walk in with Jesus, you know and your still trying to figure him out, you’re not sure, people are starting to hate him, you know, he’s getting Pharoses [26:00] ticked off. They don’t know where this guy is going, you’re not sure exactly either, but you’re walking along and all of a sudden he stops and goes, have you ever tried a little oregano when you, maybe sautéed some yellow squash? Okay, I can try that sometime, but you know, this is what he does, right. And then you realize, no, he’s saying something more profound, and he moves and says, well you don’t pour new wine into old wine skins, I mean, because they will burst. Oh, [26:30] okay that’s nice, and then, and then what happens? Suddenly they realize, wait a minute, he-he’s the wine and my gosh, he was insinuating we’re the old wine skins, and he’s say that he can’t fit into our rigid structures because if we truly invite him in, he’ll break us and split us apart.

That’s why the Pharoses hated him, because when he made that statement, in that little parable [27:00] that seems so innocent, he nailed them right there. You know, and he said that right after he had healed the man who’d they’d let down, and they were saying, how dare him offer forgiveness. He goes and he eats with the tax collectors, and they’re going, well how dare he’s there, you know, and they can’t figure him at all – Out at all. And he just gives that little passing, little innocent thought, right, and he moves on and if they put two and two together, [27:30] which I’m sure some of them did, they realize, well this is why we’re having such a hard time, because we’ve become so rigid. We have it all figured it out they way he’s suppose to be, how it’s suppose to work, and he’s come and he’s completely exploded, and that’s the tool of a subversive.

As ministers, in our theology of ministry, and if we’re to be like Jesus, who’s our model for ministry, it means that our essential tools for this work are tools [28:00] that are subversive. You know, it’s not our impressive words, it’s our parents, it’s not, you know, who we know, that’s not going to get us anywhere. What’s going to really get us somewhere is if we take the subversive tools serious. Tools of words, so it would be steep in knowing God’s word, devoted to prayer, then using subversive language, because we have the same task of infiltrating the culture.

That’s why Jesus said [28:30] be what? Be the salt of the earth, what does that mean? Be almost imperceptible. But then, it’s what preserves, it’s what saves; it’s what gives the flavor. Be like the seed working underneath the soil. Nobody can see it, but something really huge is growing.

So, [29:00] here’s some requirements of subversives: first of all, and I just get this from what I’ve just studied in Colossians 4, prayer, Paul wraps up in this great, great book and he’s talking to this truly emergence church, with just emerging in culture, and he comes to Colossians 4:2 and he says, these things. Number one, and you can tell he’s-he’s training them to be subversive, first thing he says is devote yourself to what? [29:30] Devote yourself to prayer, Colossians 4:2. And he says, praying at the same time for us is well, that God may? Open the door. How are these doors going to open? The subversive work of prayer.

Prayer, that prays down the walls, secondly, second requirement of sub-sub – Of a subversive is to be oriented towards lost people. [30:00] So Paul says, walking in wisdom, verse 5, catch this preposition, walking in wisdom toward outsiders. Not away from, like a lot of people are inclined to do, but towards them, so, an orientation towards, infiltration, incarnation; living, eating, working, getting into their lives, so an orientation towards. [30:30]

Thirdly, Godly lives, so Paul says conduct yourself with wisdom toward outsiders, towards outsiders. And thirdly, that means live lives that reflect Jesus, because that’s what attracts lost people. So, the subversive work of holiness, that’s what people need from us. That’s what attracts the world.

Fourth requirement of a subversive [31:00] is to cease the moment. Because Paul says, conduct yourself, the wisdom toward outsiders, bind out the time, ceasing the moment, grabbing up when it comes. You’ve prayed, the doors opened, grab hold of it, it’s the moment, you don’t know how long it’ll last. So, cease the moment and then verse 6, he says, to speak with words seasoned with grace, answering the questions.

So, the [31:30] fifth requirement of a subversive is to have speached the season, I just love that word there, the season, that’s just textured with grace, that’s salted with grace, that you might be able to and notice what he says, to answer the questions, which means, a subversive anticipates the questions, is prepared for them and then can answer them. I mean, just there, just take one text of scripture Colossians 4:2-6, [32:00] Paul gives, I think, the strategy, the game plan for a subversive. You want to turn the world upside down, you want to impact the world, this is how you do it.

So, Jesus is a subversive word to be a subversive. Fifth ministry must be salvific, because Christ was; Christ came to restore us to union and communion with the Father, each act of ministry, with a ministry of [32:30] reconciliation. And that’s what our work must largely be about, a ministry of reconciliation. How can I touch this life in a way that begins to bring about some reconciliation?

So, I’m in the locker room with a guy the other day, after playing tennis, and this guy starts to open his life, we started to exchange some pleasantries and a statement leads to him open his life and tell me about a failed marriage and immoral behavior and [33:00] stuck in his job for the rest of his life. And there was a person who needed to hear about reconciliation, because his life has been largely about separation. That’s what our ministry’s called to be about. I mean who-who doesn’t want that, right? Who doesn’t want reconciliation? Who loves separation? I don’t know anybody who does.

The ministry must be salvific, and then ministry must [33:30] exemplify God. Jesus again comes to flesh God, flesh out the Father. And Jesus comes to reveal humanity in its fullness, through his love, his relationships, his aim to bring glory to the Father. So, we’re called to the same authentic humanity.

Pervace [phonetic] [33:57], I’m not sure I totally understand what he is [34:00] saying here, I think I do a little bit, but he puts it this way, Jesus’ humanity is not merely to be imitated, Jesus’ humanity is not to be merely imitated, because of his atoning work we’re in this union with him, where we’ve died, we’ve been buried, we’ve risen to new life, we’re hidden in eternity, so in this we live a whole different kind of humanity. [34:30] It’s kind of a wild thought.

See, we think that ministry is part of this thing with God to be like Jesus, and it is to be like Jesus, but it’s more than to be like Jesus. Something happened when we came to Christ, we entered into this union and I don’t understand it and you probably don’t either, I don’t know if any of us understand it. But, we entered into this union in which, I go back to Colossians again, in which he says, when he died, who else died? We died. [35:00] When he was buried, who was buried? We were somehow buried. When he rose, we rose.

In fact, look at Colossians 3:1, he says, if you’ve been raised with Christ then keep seeking the things above where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Now, catch what he says here, set your mind on things above, not on the [35:30] things that are on earth for, what reason, verse three, for what? You have what? You have died. And then notice what he says, you have died and your life is hidden. What does that mean? You’ve died and your life is hidden. Do you know what that means? I don’t either. But, somehow, it means that I’ve already died and I’ve been buried and I’ve risen and I’m already with him, and yet, I’m [36:00] here. Another words, I’m in such a profound union with Christ, that where he is, I already am, because I’m in union.

So, what does that mean, where am I going with this again? Think about it this way, as ministers, we minister to people and we are not simply trying to imitate Jesus, we in fact are in this union with him, which has profoundly changed our own humanity. I don’t know [36:30] what that means, but it’s all part of this ministry starts with God and I’m in – Not only, he’s not only a model for me, I’m in union with him and it means therefore I’m to live the fullness of humanity.

Last thing I think I put here about Jesus is that ministry must be authoritative. Jesus came with a ministry that exhibited ultimate authority. He cast down [37:00] every idolatress claim to that authority. He cast down every idolatress claim. There’s no power in the world, no regime, no religion, no political authority, no economic order, no worldly dominion that stands above Jesus. Everything and everyone will bow to him. And here’s the thing, [37:30] when you and I came to Christ, we were transferred to that domain and when we signed up to be ministers, we were given what? [inaudible answer in audience] [37:42] We were given that authority.

That’s what Jesus said to the disciples, Mark 3:15, I’ve called you to be with me, I’ve called you to preach the kingdom of God and then what’s the third thing he [38:00] said? Here are the three things about discipleship Jesus said, guys, I’ve called you to be with me that means I want you to stay connected with me. I’ve called you to a task, I’ve called you to preach the kingdom of God, so preach it and I’ve called you thirdly and given you authority over the darkness. Now, was that just for them? Was that just sort of a dispensational thing right then and there for them, but [38:30] doesn’t apply to us? What do you think? You think we have the same authority?

Male 4:[38:40] He says in John, he says [inaudible] [38:44]

[38:44] Yes, wasn’t it in Matthew 28? All authority has been given to me and in a sense he’s passing that on. So, what does that mean? That means again, in-in our theology of ministry that we [39:00] don’t minimize that. I don’t know, frankly, all that that means, but that means we have profound authority, if we’re walking with God and we’re doing his ministry, that means we do it in his authority. That means that none of us should ever feel intimidated in this thing called ministry. Yes, at times fearful, but fearful hopefully of God and not of man.

See, I just wonder sometimes, here’s just a little illustration of this, I find it really interesting, [39:30] going back to Mark, that when Jesus gave them the authority over darkness, then they crossed the sea; they’re heading across the sea to the Demoniac. Which is, another again, another great picture of Jesus in incarnationally going-going into the world, going all the way into the depths. And I think he’s modeling that for them, saying here’s where you go, you go to the most desperate of all people.

But, they’re crossing the sea and a storm comes up, you remember that? And what’s Jesus doing? [40:00] He’s sleeping, and meanwhile they’re drowning and they finally wake him up and what does Jesus do? [inaudible talking] [40:11] He rebukes that storm, but who else does he rebuke? [inaudible talking] [40:17] Yes, well what is that about? Did he rebuke him because they should of woken him up earlier? Like, why did you guys wait so late, now I got some water in this stupid boat and I’m getting wet. Is that… [40:30] Why do you think he rebuked them? In fact, he says, oh ye of little faith, something like that. What did he expect them to do? [inaudible talking] [40:41] But that’s not really satisfying I-I would think, so okay Jesus, what are you saying we should just of kind of sat there while this thing is just plummeting, you know, plummeting us to death, and we’re taking on water, and go all right, okay, we’re men of faith, [41:00] we’re going to be strong through this, let’s just not worry.

See I wonder if because it says that it says when Jesus woke he spoke against the storm and uses the same word for casting out demons. You with me, do you know where I’m going?

Man 5: [41:18] So, you’re going back to Mark 3:15 where he said, and you have the authority to cast out demon [inaudible] [41:24]. But he called the 12 and he gave them authority.

[41:27] He used the same word for exercising demons [41:30] to still the storm and I just wonder if, it’s just an interesting thought, but I wonder if Jesus rebukes their lack of faith because he was waiting for one of them to stand up and say to the storm, knock it off. I don’t know, what other reason he would of rebuked them for.

It’s interesting; it just comes out of the context where he gave them authority. Simply saying to you that if we’re to imitate Jesus, if our ministry is [42:00] to be a picture of the Father, if it’s to be a picture of the Son, that part of our ministry – Our theology tells us that we should have an authoritative tone to our ministry. Now does that mean we can still storms, I-I don’t know, I haven’t stilled one lately, I’m not sure if I have that much faith. But, it does mean that I’m guessing there has been times that I could of exercised authority, I bet I didn’t, because I didn’t realize I had it in Christ [42:30] and I let sometimes people intimidate me when I should of stood up and said, you know that’s not of God and that won’t be allowed.

Okay, the last thing here, with one minute left, not to short change the Spirit, but-but the Spirit also comes into play in this Trinitarian model for ministry and the Spirit is the power. Jesus is the model, the Father’s the originator [43:00] of ministry, Jesus models for us what ministry should be, the Spirit is the driving power, that’s clear Pentecost. Because the Spirit came to empower, this is what his coming of Pentecost was all about. His indwelling power of the Spirit of Christ, who empowers us now to be his witnesses, Acts 2:4, Acts 2:11, Acts 4:7-8, [43:30] Ephesians 3:16, now to him, it’s a great way to end class right? Now to him was able to do what? [inaudible talking] [43:41] Exceeding abundantly beyond all we can ask or think, and that’s when a lot of time we stop, to him who is able to do exceeding more than we ask or even can imagine, and then what does he say? [inaudible talking] [43:57] According to, according to [44:00] the power working in us. What is that power? [inaudible talking] [44:07] It’s the Holy Spirit. So, there is Paul saying to the church, you know, you can do far more than you’ve ever imagined or think, but it won’t be in your power, but you do have the power that’s there.

I hope you better understand ministry now, that’s part of our theology. If we-If we know who God is, I think we’ll get a handle [44:30] on what ministry is all about. I’ll see you next week.