…Jesus could have chosen any of the purity laws meant to keep His people set apart…but He did not.”
Jesus said, “I will build my church…” (Matthew 16:18b). This is the foundational principlefrom which anyone’s philosophy of ministry cannot stray: it is Jesus’ church. A pastor is not thechurch’s Savior; Jesus is. A pastor is not the one purifying the church; Jesus is. Scripture, as theWord of God, must be the foundation of any philosophy of ministry. Furthermore, the Scripturesprovide the best rubric to evaluate the church. This brief treatment serves as an introduction to myphilosophy of ministry.
At any level, ministry in the church must find itself in the Scriptures. Three passages demandparticular attention as they relate directly to the church, its function in the world, and its leadership.These are the some of the essential elements for church ministry: Matthew 22:36-40, Matthew28:18-20, and Ephesians 4:11-13.Matthew 22:36-40
Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law? Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.
In this passage, Jesus silences His critics once again but germane to this discussion, Hepresents His priorities to His people. It is so critical to notice, Jesus could have chosen any of thepurity laws meant to keep His people set apart as witnesses and mediators of His presence to theworld, but He did not. Instead, He chose the familiar opening of the
(cf. Deuteronomy 6:5).Jesus’ first priority, and therefore the priority of the Father, was love forHim. Loving the Lord is obedience to the Lord. 1 Samuel 15:22(a)asks, “Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as muchas in obeying the voice of the Lord?” This underscores the importanceof worship in the life of the Christian and the church. There is an issuein too many churches of trading worship for something imitating it. “The focus of worship,” Webber writes, “is not human experience, not a lecture, not entertainment,but Jesus Christ—his life, death, and resurrection.”
Jesus said the Father is seeking worshippers (cf.
Robert E. Webber,
Worship is a Verb,
ed. (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 1992), 1.