Have you ever seriously meditated on “What motivated the disciples to give up everything in order to follow Jesus?” On a number of occasions in my life people have asked me, “Why did you become a missionary?” Periodically it is important for every Christian to ask him or herself, “Why are you a member of a particular church?”
There can be no denying the fact that “vision” plays a very important role in all of our lives. Jesus called his disciples to a vision, not to a job. One day a disillusioned businessman said this about his career, “I have learned much in the last forty years; unfortunately, most of it is about aluminum.” Nearly anyone can hold a job, but very few can live for a dream. Built within a man is the fear that he will look back over his life and discover it did not count. Many people are concerned that their investment of time and money was wasted. While ministering in Singapore, I often heard Brother Tock Lip say, “My concern is not about becoming a success. Rather my concern is about becoming a success at something that will not count for eternity.” People do not get excited about building a monument to mediocrity. As a member of a body of Christ, we need a fresh vision for ministry.
When the work of the church becomes just church work; when the work of ministry becomes simply a job rather than a vision, then it is time to re-evaluate what is going on. It was a priority for Tock Lip and I to create a Philosophy of Ministry for our church in Singapore. Over time a Philosophy of Ministry should be reviewed and amended prior to presenting it to the entire church.
Vision is where it all begins, and vision deals with perspective. There is a big difference between a positive and negative perspective when it comes to the ministry. Take for example, the story of the two boys who were describing their father’s work. Both fathers were riveters in an airplane factory. The first boy said, “Oh, my father is just a riveter.” The second boy said proudly, “My dad builds airplanes!” Apparently the one father just had a job, but the other possessed a vision.
Let me encourage you to take up a vision for building God’s Kingdom through the ministry of your local church. When you stand before the Lord someday, you will want to have glorified Him through your obedience to His Word. Essential to your eternal reward, is what you are doing for the Lord today.
Written by Pat Delaney, Field Administrator with Baptist World Mission