by James A. Fowler
As God gives through us, God is loving and serving and ministering to others through us. The Church was intended to function by the "ministry of all believers." In II Cor. 8:4 Paul writes of "the grace of participation in the ministry unto the saints." Later in the same chapter, II Cor. 8:19, he he refers to "this grace which is being ministered by us for the glory of the Lord." He continues then in II Cor. 9:1 to say, "it is superfluous for me to write to you about this ministry to the saints." Every Christian is to be involved in the ministry of Christian giving.
The entire concept of "ministry" has been distorted in religious instruction today. So-called professional "ministers" establish organizational "ministries" with their own name often attached. Then they go about begging people to "give to my ministry." Their broadcasts and their publications keep stating, "Our ministry does not exist apart from your gifts." Every time I hear or see that statement, I say to myself, "If that be the case, we are better off without it!" Our ministry exists as long as God wants it to exist, and as long as He is the functional dynamic of all that is done! It is not "our" ministry anyway! It is God's loving and serving and giving in us. It is His to supply, maintain and sustain.
Why is it that these so-called "ministries" always seem to be on the brink of collapse, and are pleading with people to give as if it were a "matter of survival?" Some even revert to real low-down grovelling, "Don't let me down;" "Protect my reputation;" Send your gift; do it for me!" That is not Christian giving! That is a man engaging in fund-raising to build his personal empire and maintain his personal reputation.
The ministry of Christian giving is the opportunity to serve and minister to others by allowing God to express His givingness through us.
©1999 by James A. Fowler
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