The purpose of this dissertation is an exegesis which discusses a “Theological Approach to the Fundamentals of Christian Ministry”.
The scope of this work is based on the Christian Ministry and the Christian Church as a whole.
The treatment of Leprosy as discussed in the Gospel of St. Mark was examined, An analysis of spreading the word of God in the form of church planting was carried out, characteristics of effective leadership, evangelical methods for spreading the Gospel, the role of Youth Ministry, the use of hymns and musicto complement sermon material, prayer components of worship, role of Christian Ministries and contribution to the community with respect to the story of thee Good Samaritan, The comparison of the Ministry of John the Baptist to that of Jesus and the valuable lessons that the bible teaches which provides a path towards salvation and eternal living were all discussed.
EXAMINING THE TREATMENT OF LEPROSY
The account of the Gospel of St. Mark vividly describes how a lepros man was healed of leprosy by Jesus Christ (Mark 1;40-42). This man (vs41). This was borne out of a “Willingness” by the man to be made whole (vs41).
Leprosy generally attracts isolation of the persons concerned by the general society. The person concerned are regarded to be unclean and are not worthy to be associated with (Haryford. J, 2004). In the old testament, the diseases person usually goes through a ceremonial cleaning. The person shows himself to the priest and the priest goes ahead to start the cleansing processes and necessary atonement.(Lev.13,47,14:32).
The Christian ethnic is based in compassion for these lepros people. The tenets of Christianity is based on a love and compassion for people who are undeserving,
Examining the Treatment of Leprosy 2
underprivileged, disadvantaged or have one form of disability or the other. Jesus Christ, the author and finisher of the Christian faith demonstrate this by having compassion on the lepros man who was hither to isolated and he made him whole. This is contrary to what entails in marginalized society today. These societies are considered to be “Lepros” and are therefore isolated or marginalized.
The Onus lies on the Christian society to stand-up and help these so called marginalized society/societies according to the tenets of Christianity which is to have compassion for the deprived aptly demonstrated by St. Mark’s account of the treatment/healing of leprosy by our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
God has granted Christians the motivation and power to do his moral will. His moral will entails Christians to love their neighbours as themselves. (Luke 10:27).
We have been given the power to fulfill God’s moral will. According to Luke q0:19; (NIV)
“ I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to over come all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you”
Church Planting 3
Central to the purpose of Christian Ministry is concerning and implementing new ways of spreading the word of God. Church planting is one concept that exemplifies this ideal.
Church planting concept stems from the “Great Commission” which is Christ last charge to his church has done it’s best to fulfill this great commission (Matt28;16-20). The mandate given to the church is to “Disciple all Nations.” (Woods R. 1966). This is in consonance with and frustrating to try to disciple the peoples without discilping the nations. To disciple the nations means to use the authority which Jesus has given to is church, To IMPOSE the values and authority of heaven over the nations of the world. With local churches planted in the nations and under a pastoral leadership, the church is able to bring forth God’s people so that the work and programmes of discipling can proceed at a fast pace (Ps.2:1-9)
Church planting can be impacted by regional demographics and geographical area. This could be in terms of areas that are experiencing environmental degradation such as Earthquakes, Hurricane, Floods and Tsunamic. It becomes increasingly impossible for churches to be planted in such areas.
Some religious denominations are indifferent to church planting. This has a great impact on missions such that it becomes difficult for the gospel to be preached to all nations. They are parochial in nature and times they frustrate the effort of new churches.
New ministries encounter various problems which include, acceptance by the society, territorial principalities and power and lack of funds. These factors have adverse effect on new ministries and can ultimately limit the scope and longevity.
To develop momentum for ministry through creating churches that reproduce, we propose the adequate provision of funds and fund raising activities. These churches should be
Church Planting 4
planted every 5 minutes walk from each other. This will ensure the Gospel is spread at a faster pace.
A minister of the Gospel is expected to be well versed in the word and scripture and organized to use this material to design a sermon that meets the need of contemporary society in general and the respective minister must exhibit some characteristic which are essential to effective leadership in ministry.
These character traits include;
i. Sensitivity to, openness towards and sharing with those who are weak, vacillating, easy tempted or emotionally immature.
ii. Speaking the truth in love and practice what we preach”. If the truth of God id to have an impact on those who we lead.
iii. Compassion and gentleness
iv. Kindness and humility
As a leader in a leadership position in ministry, the role of personal experience cannot be overemphasized. Personal experience makes the leaders empathized with the followers. It makes the leader sensitive to the plight of the followers and therefore compassionate. The message can therefore have a better impact on the audience (Wells,A. 1988)
We can share from the experience of Apostle Paul and how he used his personal experience to impact the ministry. (Rms 8:35-39). In this encounter, Apostle Paul was speaking to his audience from a first hand personal experience. He knew the dangers and disasters that were the “fringe benefits” of following Jesus (2 Cor 4:8-12, 11:23-29). He also
Effective Leadership 5
recognised that hardship did not signify that God loved him any less than he had before, just as good times were not on indication that God loved him more than he already had. Using this personal experience, Apostle Paul wanted his audience to know that, even in the most trying circumstances, we are “more than conquerors” (Romans 8:37). Paul’s ringing conclusion is well worth it to his audience. “For I am convinced that neither death nor life neither the angels nor demons neither the present nor the future nor any powers, neither height nor………. Will separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8;38-39 NIV)
MISSION AND YOUTH EVANGELISM
Today’s ministry involves such evangelical mediums and methods which have evolved with modern technology. The use of laptop computers has taking the stage from the conventional sermon notes. The preacher stores his notes in form of data in the computer. This helps him access so many materials at the some time whilst preaching.
Complimenting the sermon are ;state of the public address systems” (Hayfford J.1999). this enables the preacher to reach a wider audience. The use of electronic presentation such as “big screen televisions” The ensures that the congregation who are seated miles away can view and hear the preacher. Television ministry and radio evangelism has also taken the centre stage in today’s ministry. This gives a wider reach for the propagation of the gospel Christians can now logg-in into various ministries websites and download Christian materials and also watch live sermons on line real time audience.
The role of youth Ministry in modern evangelism cannot be overemphasized. This is because the youth are the leaders of tomorrow and are saddled with the task of spreading the gospel to the Nations because of their youthful energy. The youth ministry is organised in
Mission and Youth Evangelism 6
such a way as to make youths be involved in evangelism even from adolescent years. This is like “catch them when young” syndrome. Youths are an easy prey for the devil. They could be led into such social vices like drug, crime, pre-marital sex, early pregnancy, abortion etc.. This is why Youth leaders are trained developed and firmly rooted in the word of God so that they can lead their fellow peers in the way of the Lord and in evangelism. Youth Ministry, therefore differs from the conventional/traditional Ministry in that it is directed at the youths and their vibrancy to spread the gospel at an early stage of life.
HYNMS AND MUSIC IN EVANGELISM
In the Bible we often find a passage written in a way that is different from the immediately surrounding text; the style of such passage in Greek is different from the rest of the surrounding text, and it more closely resembles poetry rather than prose, such passage are usually not long paragraphs, but one or two sentences. For these passage are termed as “hymns” or choruses. I Timothy 1:15;3:15-16; Titus 3;4-8, Romans 10:8-10; 2 Timothy 2:11-13, Ephsians 4:8-9; 5:16, and IThess. 4:14-17. the structure and style of these portions are in the nature of songs. (in fact, the whole of Romans 9-11 is written in this style). When we study them, we have to realize that every portion touches one matter or one doctrine. These passages cover everything from salvation to the rapture. For the Holy spirit to write these eight portion in the form of a song means that there must be precious significance to them.
I Corinthians 14:26 gives us a clear picture of the relationship in emerging forms of worship such as hymns, music to preaching. It talks about orderly worship when brethren come together with hymns, word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or interpretation. It describes the essentials of orderliness during worship (vs 27-32)
Hymns and Music in Evangelism 7
“ The Spirit of prophets are subject to the control of prophets. For God is not a God of disorder but of peace” (I Corinthians 14;32-33) Psalms 27:6, 95:2, Eph 5:19, Ps. 30:11,149,150.
WORSHIP AND PRAYERS COMPONENTS
Worship is the central component of our relationship with God. God deserves our worship. The scriptures makes us realize that we must worship God in spirit and in truth (Jn 4:240. there are different prayer components of worship which include. Adoration, confession, thanks giving, intercession and supplication.
Adoration is the prayer components that adequately describes who God is and how God is worthy to be worshipped. It is praising God for his marvelous and wonderful works to the children of man (Thomas I.D.E, 1996).
Confession is an integral aspect of the Christian faith. The catholic tradition emphasizes this. It is an act of confessing our sins and transgression. This then is the pre-requisites for us to blameless before God Almighty. The scripture makes us realize that if we confess our sins to God, he is faithful and just to forgive us any iniquity and cleanse us from all unrighteousness (I John 1:9 Paraph.)
Therefore, we have the right to boldly come before God to make any request or supplication.
The prayer of thanksgiving simply shows our attitude of gratefulness for what God has already done for us. It is appreciating God for favours and mercies.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition with thanks giving, present your requests to God” 9Phil 4:6 NIV)
God rewards thanks giving. He always has a special place in his heart for those who remember to return and offer thanks giving.
Worship and Prayer components 8
The prayer of intercession is prepared in behalf of others. Through his word, God has called the Body of Christ to the ministry of intercession (I Timothy 2:1-4). Intercession prayer is the tool that the spirit of God will use to bring the early church as recorded in the book of Acts. Intercession is giving birth in the spirit, intercession is the highest expression of love.
The words “position” and “supplication” are defined as “a formal request of a higher power”. This prayer changes things. It is based on Phil 4:6 (CJV): Be careful for nothing;, but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your request be made known unto God.
THE GOOD SAMARITAN AND ROLE OF THE CHRISTIAN MINISTER
The most honored Christian Ministries are those which move beyond the walls of their church to affect a positive contribution within the community. Hence, a major component of Christian leadership is the ability to mobilize a congregation to actively practice the teaching of the church in society at large. This could be in the form of community development giving to orphanages, the needy, and the sick. The Christian minister has a major role of caring for the poor, raising money for community projects and mediating in social justice issues such as the rights of workers and death sentence foe example.
We can relate the role of the Christian minister to that o the Good Samaritan in Luke 10:25-37. the parable is one of the most familiar stories in the Bible sometimes referred to as a “juridical parable” (one pertaining to the administration of Justice).
The story is set along the treacherous route from Jerusalem to Jericho, which ran a distance of 17 miles with a sharp descent from about 2,500 feet above sea level to about 800
The Good Samaritan 9
below sea level. In Jesus fables account, both a priest (a religious leader) and a Levite (a lay associated observed a fellow Jew who had been savagely beaten and left for dead, but each decided that it would be inexpedient to get involved. (Levit 21:1-4) touching a dead body would have made them “Unclean”. ( Hindson, E, Dobson, E, 1999). But a traveler from Samaria . despised by the Jewish people because of his race, stopped without concern for his own safety to care for the man, going so far as to make financial arrangements at an inn to ensure his full recovery. In this account, Jesus was referring instead to that person who is willing regardless of whether the action might be convenient, prudent or even safe- to reach out to a fellow human being in need. This is the area where offerings for the less privilege comes into place. However, some ministers insist on using the tithes of the church for this purpose. This is contrary to the tenet of the scriptures in Mal 3:10 which makes it clear that tithes are strictly for the church. Tithes cannot therefore, be used for projects of need in the larger secular community.
JOHN THE BAPTIST- A RELATION WITH JESUS
John the Baptist baptized people as a sign and symbol that those individuals had turned away from sin. Baptism symbolized cleansing, a washing away of our sins through the blood of Jesus (Copelard, 1983). It therefore strikes us as odd that through Jesus Christ never sinned, he would go to John the Baptist. Jesus had several good reasons for doing so. This act represented for Jesus a way of identifying with human beings. The baptism also symbolized the beginning of his public ministry, and the fact that he has come to cleanse us from that sin, to shoulder our burden for us and suffer the penalty on our behalf (Isaiah 53;5-6,8,10,12; (John1:29)
There is a strong relationship between the birth of John the Baptist and Jesus especially with the separate births being announced by the angel Gabriel. In the account of St.
John the Baptist 10
Luke chapter 1, the angel Gabriel appear to Zechariah (vs11) and said to him that his wife Elizabeth shall bear a son and shall be named John. (Luke 1:11-19). This is also similar to the birth of Jesus foretold by the angel Gabriel in the sixth month to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledge to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgins name was Mary. (Luke 1:26-38).
The reaction of John the Baptist to Jesus coming to him in Jordan to be baptized was significant. John was very clear about his role (John 3:30). He willing baptized Jesus and later stepped aside her realised his role; “He Jesus) must become greater, I must become less” (John 3:30 NIV),( John 1:19-34).
The death of John the Baptist can be put in Juxtaposition to the death of Jesus Christ on the cross for the remission of sins. According to the account in Matthew 14, Herod heard the reports about Jesus, and the said to his attendants, “This is John the Baptist he has risen from the dead” .He was subsequently be headed injustly according to the wish of herodias. Jesus was also killed in the same vain according to the betrayal of by Judas Iscariot (Matt 26:46-50.
THE BIBLE; THEMES FOR ETERNAL LIVING
Faith is the very foundation of the Christian creed and conduct because we are saved by faith (Eph 2:8). Faith is the confidence in God that leads us to believe His wors, the Holy Bible (2Chr. 20:20, Hab. 2:4,Matt. 9:29, 17:20,24:10. Acts 14;9, James 2:17. the bible definition of faith is to be found in Hebrews 11:1. It is substance of thing hoped for and the evidence of thing not seen. Faith is trust in God and in Jesus Christ whom he sent. The faith that saves is a personal trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. True faith that exists is based on the word of God. As we listen to God’s word being preached, our faith grows stronger and stronger. (Roms 10 :17) .Faith is crucial
The Bible 11
for salvation (A ct 16:31), just as it is necessary for healing sanctification, and the baptism of the holy spirit.
In order to get to Heaven, a man must have forgiveness of his sins. This because Heaven is a holy place (Copel and 1983) and nothing evil or unclean can ever be allowed there.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse….us from all unrighteousness” I John 1:9. (KJV).
Only God can forgive sins (Mk 2:7). The blood of Goats and ram cannot permanently wash away sins (Heb10:4). It is through the Blood of Jesus Christ alone that we can obtain total forgiveness of sins (Eph 1:70
Repentance proceeds forgiveness. It is a change of mind that leads to a change in conduct. For example, in Matthew 21:28-32, the boy at first refused to work in the vineyard but later repented , changed his mind and then went and actually worked in the vineyard.
There are 3 main points why repentance is important.(i.) It precedes salvation (ii) necessary to prepared us to Heaven 9Matt 4:17) (iii) It is God’s commandment that everybody must repent.
Social Justice entails that a Christian must be compassionate and not follow the dictates of the society (Luke 10:25-37). Rom 6:23 clearly describes what sin is. Today, many people call sin by various names but sin means disobeying God and anyone who disobeys the Almighty God is in danger. (Isa. 14;12,14, I Corn. 6:9-10, Gal 5:19-21, Matt 25:46-,25:42, Mk 7:20-23)
Conclusion/ Summary 12
The fundamentals of Christian Ministry has been taken into consideration by a clear picture about the tenets of Christianity , the church of God and our faith in Jesus Christ.
The fundamentals serves as a basis or foundation for good Christian living.
1. Alber Wells, A. “Inspiring Quotations.”.
nahville: Thomas Nelson, 1998
2. Copeland, K “Prayer: Your Foundation for Success” Oklahoma; Harrison House 1983.
3. Fredd Addo, “Stop playing, start Praying”.
Rehoboth Publishing 2006
4. Hindson, E, Dobson E, “Knowing Jesus Study Bible,” Michigan; Zondervan Publishing House 1999.
5. Hayfford J, Theology: A Cristological Approach” Heineman 1999.
6. Peale, N.v. “ My Favorite Quotations”
San Francisco: Harper Collins 1990.
7. Selders G, “How to study the Bible”
California : Living Stream Ministry 1993
8. Tada J.E, “The Essentials of Christian Ministry”. Ney York: hawthom Boogs 1996
9. Woods R, “World Treasury of Religious Quotations” New York: Hawthorn Books 1975