What You See in Ministry

The human eye is one of the greatest wonders of all of God’s creation. Think about how superior vision is to photography. It takes a really skilled photographer to capture a landscape, and a large part of that is deciding what to leave out. The human eye is capable of taking in so much more, of focusing and refocusing with stunning speed, of interpreting movement and shades of colors. It is a wonder. But all the light that the majestic machinery of the eye captures is interpreted by an intelligence behind it. The eye is the light of the body, and what you focus on will fill your soul. Behind the eye is the peculiar creation of personality, filtering and adjusting and filling in gaps and assigning value and desiring and destroying. O be careful little eye what you see.

person holding camera lens

What do I see in ministry? Do I see schedules and buildings, offerings and altars? Or do I see people? Because as much as I want ministry to be clean cut, organized, smooth, successful, and manageable, people are messy. I should know, because I am none of the former and all of the latter, at least by nature. And in the midst of all of that we must also stay focused on Jesus, lest we embrace a Christ-less Christianity.

Scripture helps us out enormously because there are multiple times when these 2 focuses, people and Jesus, are harmonized for us. Consider the words of Jesus:

Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

Matthew 25:34-40

This attitude of worshiping Christ through our ministry to others is also captured by the apostle Paul:

I am debtor both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise.

Romans 1:14

This is not to say things like organization, sermon preparation, and administration are unimportant. These are the very means by which many minister. Love of people may look like a clearly communicated Sunday School schedule. But if these things become a means unto themselves – that is, they become the object of our focus – then we begin to feel as though people are an obstacle to be overcome. People are always the object of, never the obstacle to ministry. The sermon that is preached without the intent of communicating timeless and timely truths to sinners and saints is a wasted sermon. The most eloquent homily is nothing but crashing cymbals when there is no love, and like a good postcard love must always be addressed to someone.

People are always the object, never the obstacle to ministry.

2 thoughts on “What You See in Ministry

  1. What a joy to sit here early on Sunday morning and find your wisdom in my in-box. Thank you brother for your God honoring, thought provoking words reminding me of His amazing creation (the eye), the blessing of His Word and the value of those made in His image.


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