Hey everyone! My discipleship group is going through the Book of Luke right now. In my quiet time a couple days ago, God used a passage in Luke to teach me a powerful principle regarding our ministry. (This profound truth also applies to local churches and church ministries.)
Next Level Worship is a young ministry started less than two years ago. I am amazed and thankful for the growth and opportunities we have already seen, to be sure. Nonetheless, our team has been brainstorming of late on how to better market ourselves and the materials we offer. We were thinking that we needed to somehow create momentum in order for more growth to occur. Boy, were we wrong! Please read my journal excerpt below to check out God’s clear and correcting word to me about that mentality! ~ Dwayne
From Quiet Times with God on January 7, 2008:
Text: Luke 4:14-30 Theme: The Holy Spirit caused people to spread the news about Jesus, though some talk wasn’t so good. Key verses: “Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside. He taught in their synagogues, and everyone praised him. He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up into the synagogue, as was his custom. And he stood up to read, ‘The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me.'” (v. 14-18) “All spoke well of him.” (v. 22) “Jesus said to them, “Surely you will quote this proverb to me: ‘Physician, heal yourself!’ I tell you the truth,’ he continued, ‘no prophet is welcome in his hometown.'” (v. 23-24) “All the people in the synagogue were furious when they heard this.” (v. 28) What God said to me: Son, this is the message I want you to hear and get today. You don’t have to push and plead and prod to produce prospects. It is not up to you to market yourself. That is my job. Jesus never sent out one piece of mass mail. He never devised a marketing strategy to get people talking about him. He simply got alone with me and obeyed my Holy Spirit’s leading. He humbled himself and became obedient, denying himself. For thirty years he quietly worked and prepared himself for the day I would exalt him to a public ministry. And just like that, he walked out of the crowd, got baptized, and went away to the desert for forty days of testing and focusing; then voila, he returned in the power of my Spirit, and news automatically spread about him. Dwayne, I am not saying don’t do any mail-outs or make any phone calls for your ministry. I am saying, though, that it is not really your ministry. It is mine. Thus, only do what I clearly initiate. Otherwise, be still and wait. Don’t fret. Don’t become envious of others ministries that seem to be prospering more than yours. Dwayne, think back to how you started in ministry as a 10-year-old. You never made a phone call or tried in any way to get people to like you and want you in their churches. I opened every door. So it should always continue. Jesus returned to his home, his roots. So should you. Take note that Jesus did, however, go anywhere and anytime I directed him. He worked very hard and smart. One more thing you need to notice and heed: Jesus didn’t succomb to peoples’ warm feelings and words about him. He spoke the truth always, even when it meant turning some against him. Now that goes against the grain of any “marketing plan” you will read about in marketing books. Do it my way and prosper beyond your wildest imagination. Do it your way, and scrape and claw and stay exhausted – never reaching your fullest potential. What I said to God: O Lord, You are my Maker and my Master. You know the very deepest parts of me. This is exactly what I needed to hear today. Please forgive my anxious, unbelieving thoughts of late. I choose Your way only!