What is God’s Greatest Expression of His Love?

Psalm 34:12

Who is the man who desires life and loves length of days that he may see good?


Life. God created you for eternal habitation with Him. Without life you wouldn’t know God, family, nor anything. You wouldn’t exist. In my opinion, Life is God’s greatest expression of His Love. He created the universe to be inhabited. He created earth to be inhabited. He created humanity to share in His life. Everything created by Him is love being fulfilled. Without life, there is no experience of love, God, nor anything.

Even when humanity rebelled against Him, He intervened. He elected Himself as an atoning sacrifice. Jesus Christ is God’s continual expression of his love for us. God came in flesh to experience life in human skin.  He now has a better understanding of you and me because he lived it out. Christ’s entire life was lived out so you and I could see how life is meant to be lived. His life, death, and resurrection culminated into humanity’s relationship being restored with God.

Life comes only from life. Science has not yet discovered the missing link where matter becomes life. Even they acknowledge that life is born only from a living entity. As the Book of Genesis stated, God breathed into man and he became a living soul. As physical life only comes from physical life, eternal life only comes from eternal life. As Jesus stated to Nicodemus, one must be born again by the Spirit. Life comes from life.

God’s greatest gift to humanity is life. He created physical life with people with free-will because He wanted to share his life and love with each of us. But relationship is a two-way street. It takes two to tango. And God freely gives us life and waits to see if we want to share life with Him. For those who do, eternal life awaits them. For those who do not want to be in relationship with Him, he will oblige. Hopefully, you have come to a point in your world where God’s love wins you over. For after you have a small taste of His love and life, you can’t live without. He is Love and Life in one.

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & Founder of
Vocational Leadership 360
Author of e-Books:

Dancing With God: Life-Giving Theology Explained
Great Business Emulates a Good God
Be Radical…Follow Christ!
Simply The Messenger
Unequally Married

Encourage a Friend…Share Today’s Message!

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Who Is God?

 And they told him, “John the Baptist; and others say, Elijah; and others, one of the prophets.”And he asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered him, “You are the Christ.”  And he strictly charged them to tell no one about him. And he began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes and be killed, and after three days rise again. And he said this plainly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. But turning and seeing his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan! For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man. Mark 8:28-33 ESV.

mark 8

Our concept of God most likely is incorrect. Peter’s was when he rebuked Jesus for portraying a Messiah that was not in agreement with his beliefs.

As the above Scripture indicates, Jesus asked the “Who Am I” identity question to his disciples. Peter correctly answered. However his concept of Messiah (Hebrew translation) or Christ (Greek translation) was distorted. He was taught and read only the Scriptures that identified the Messiah as a conquering hero. A person who was coming to re-establish Israel as the mighty empire it once was like during Solomon’s reign. So when Jesus revealed that he was going to suffer, die, and be resurrected, Peter confronted and tried to incorrectly correct Jesus.

Jesus’ reply must have caused whiplash to Peter’s mind. For Jesus sharply pointed out that his concept of who the Messiah is was incorrect. That Peter’s concept was the image of man’s interpretation based on humanity’s desires instead of the reality of God.

How many of us have the same, academic, partial portrait of God? We may read what others say about God. We may hear what others say about God. And we may even have our personal, third dimension perspective of Him. Yet, how many of us have a real, face-to-face, personal relationship with Him? How many of us know Him as we know our most intimate buddy? Not what people say about her, but what you have discovered yourself while sharing life together. Isn’t that what Jesus referred too when he corrected Peter?

Yes, Jesus is going to suffer, die, and be resurrected Peter. He is not going to play along with your distorted view of reality. Instead He wants you to hang out with him and experience a deep, abiding relationship with each other. Only when you live with a person will you learn what they are truly like.

Jesus the man was the perfect reflection of who God is. That is because Jesus the divine was God in the flesh. Peter’s perspective was a distorted view of who he perceived the Christ to be. How about you and I? Do we truly know who God is?

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Executive Director & Founder
Marketplace Bible Institute
& Resource Center, Inc
Author of e-Books:
 *  Great Business Emulates a Good God
 *  Be Radical…Follow Christ!
 *  Simply The Messenger
 *  Unequally Married

Does a Friend Need Encouragement…Share Today’s Message!

Why Have You Made Me Like This?


But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?” Romans 9:20 ESV.

potter 2

You are one of a kind. There has not been nor will be another you. You are distinctly designed, gifted, and empowered for the work God has prepared beforehand specifically for you (Eph. 2:10).

When you compare yourself to others without the light of God, you may be easily led a strayed. Humans like to compare themselves with each other to make themselves feel more important. It is the outcome of insecurity and immaturity. Generally, the importance they place on themselves is measured by the value system of this world’s gods. This value system may have truth blended within it. However, the system is broken because the center-base is not the Creator and Sustainer of Life.

Most often this question is asked by people outside of Christ. For when a person begins to understand who Jesus is and that our identity is found IN him, than that person longs to discover how he may best serve His King. He doesn’t focus on his human condition, resources, or position in life. Instead, he learns to follow the lead of the Holy Spirit.

Through the Spirit’s leadership, one learns to walk in harmony with the God who made and sustains all things. She begins to witness miracles in their life. They watch as hearts are changed and blessings are poured upon them not because of how they fit into the world’s way of doing things, but because God abundantly cares for them.

Instead of focusing on what one doesn’t have, one’s health, one’s financial challenges, or one’s family situation, we begin to focus on the Triune God’s work. We pray and seek His will, His purpose, and His season. We discover a life of adventure and bliss. Not as the world pursues it, but as God designed it to be.

You were created for more than what your dreams, desires, and ambitions will eventually realize.  You were born to be reborn into the inner house of the Family of God. Today we learn through our daily routines how and what that means. Tomorrow we will take our training and expand our role into the universe. Yes, God knows why He made you, you. Are you ready to find out what that is?  I dare you.

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Executive Director & Founder
Marketplace Bible Institute
& Resource Center, Inc
Author of e-Books:
 *  Great Business Emulates a Good God
 *  Be Radical…Follow Christ!
 *  Simply The Messenger
 *  Unequally Married

Does a Friend need some Encouragement…Share Today’s Message!



Dear Wonderful Dad:
You are my success, joy, and recognition in everything I do. You surround me with your Grace and Presence each and every day. You give me more than I deserve. You make my cup overflow with your abundant riches. Everything I own is a loan from you. You created everything for us to share in and we likewise share it with others. Without you there is nothing worth owning, possessing, or having. You add value to everything because you created value. I can never express my gratitude and thankfulness for your involvement in my life. Everything is because of you.

If I have not express my thanks to you today, let me say thank you again and again. If I have already expressed my thanks to you today, express it again. There is not enough time in a day to thank you for your Grace, your Gifts, but more importantly just knowing you. We humbly thank you and express our gratitude.

word 14


“so we, who are many, are one body in Christ,
and individually members one of another.”
Romans 12:5

Why do you serve? Do you want to let the world know how good of a person you are? Does ii make you feel important? Or is it just a part of your nature? Do you truly believe it is more blessed to give than receive?

I just finished reading an old Discipleship Journal magazine which had an article entitled “Secret Service.” The article outlined how a few Christ-followers are serving others incognito. They practice the scripture of not letting your right-hand know what your other hand is doing in serving others. When they help others they do it either through a third party or in secret. At the end of the day, all glory goes to God and the act. They just receive the personal satisfaction of helping others without the fanfare. I love it.

Was Jesus’ primary attitude to draw attention to Him or to help others for their sake with as little fanfare as possible? Did Jesus die for us because He wanted to achieve personal glory or because He Loves us? When He walked the earth, who did He give the glory to?

As His disciple, I have learned that the glory and honor belongs to Jesus, my Heavenly Dad, and the Holy Spirit. All the glory and praise is God’s. I have come to realize that everything I accomplish, whether in service or for personal gain, I achieve only because of God’s grace. For starters, He gives me life itself. He gives me the air to breathe, makes my heart tick, and mind to operate effectively (unless I damage it). He gives me His Spirit of compassion and love. He allows me to work and earn an income. He allowed me to be born in America, the land of physical wealth and personal freedom. He blesses me so I can bless others. He provides me the opportunities to serve. He teaches me the joy and privilege of serving. No wonder all the praises and glory go to Him. Everything begins and ends with Him.

I don’t need the recognition anymore. My recognition comes from Him. I am His disciple and He takes exceptionally good care of me. All recognition goes to Him. What about you? Where are you in your relationship with Jesus?


Dr. Mike


What are Some Ministry Activities that Reflect a Belief in the Apostle’s Creed Statement About “God, The Father Almighty?”

There are a number of activities that turn belief in the Apostle’s Creed’s statement “God, the Father Almighty” into ministerial activities.  They include: 1):pro-life activities – from making decisions to keep ones baby to foster homes for the discarded child. 2) creation education – from Christian schools teaching creation to individual ministries emphasizing the factual account of creation rather than evolution. 3) exercising creativity – God is Creator and His creation reflects His artistic skills.  Ministries that emphasize the Arts in worship or the writing and development of music, books, film that glorifies God and His Life is an expression of creativity that focuses on God as Father and Creator. 4) Stewardship – God is a Steward of His creation.  He practices conservation and effective management of His creation.  Ministries that teach proper stewardship of ones resources is a prime example.  Also, ministries that focuses on the environment and conservation of our resources is another means of expressing these types of activities.  5) Restoring Father/Son relationships – Ministries that provide counseling or activities that improves the bond between Fathers and their children is another example of a ministry built on the belief of God as our Father.

father 1

All the above ministries are practiced by certain individuals in our local church.  Coming from a small church with very few formal church-wide ministries, most ministries are conducted by a few individuals motivated and led to fulfill their calling in life.  These ministries include all the above from one degree to another.

One approach to emphasis our God’s Authority is to conduct a series of sermons  about His relationship to us as a healthy Father.  Taking scriptures from Genesis, the Gospels, and Epistles, we can show His desire to have a close, intimate relationship with His children.

Isn’t it amazing the many activities we conduct only mimic our Heavenly Father God’s attributes?  What other ministry activities would you add to the list?

Dr. Mike




Our Faithful, Heavenly Dad:

You are a faithful Father. You are committed to your plan. You are committed to your relationships. You are committed to your work. You are committed to your Word. And you are committed to me.

Thank you for caring. Thank you for giving me the gift of faith. But help me in my disbelief. Help me with my doubts. Remove any obstacle that prevents us from have a totally committed relationship. Always be the first and center in my life. Help me put the effort and time in our relationship. Let there be nothing that ever comes between us. Let your Faith live powerfully in my life. Let it flow from me and touch the lives of others. Let you be glorified in all my actions, thoughts, and deeds. Help me be totally committed in our relationship. Help me make the time to walk with you, to pray with you, to study with you, to meditate with you, to fast with you, to party with you, and to play with you.

Thank you for everything that you do. But more importantly, thank you for being you. As always we ask and pray these things in our Lord’s Name. Amen.


 word 14


But Jesus said to him, “No one, after putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” Luke 9:62



      In today’s language, we would say that the kingdom of God requires total commitment.  It’s faith in action. It’s total abandonment. Anything less is a road to failure.

It’s like driving down the freeway at 70 mph. But instead of focusing your eyes in the direction you are driving, you keep your eyes glued to the rear view mirror. How long do you think you could drive before causing a major accident?   It  requires total commitment. One of those action character words that everyone knows is required to be a winner in life. In our day and age that word seems to have become like the relic bones of a dinosaur. We take the few bones that we have from a dinosaur, and put them together by how we think they ought to go, not absolutely sure because no one was there to take pictures for us. So whatever we come up with is just as good as the next guy’s.

We know the “C” word, most  of us know how to spell it, pronounce it, and use it in a sentence. But to apply it in everyday life is another story. We see people enter relationships with the attitude that when it starts to take work, then we shall depart. We see people start a diet, but when the effort takes work they then resort back to their old habits. We see people start a new job, a job with great  pay, benefits,  and work  environment.  Most of  us  would consider it a dream job. But when the job requires further education, self-improvement and personal changes, then they throw up their hands and quit. It’s not worth the effort. They would rather return to their old job that pays half as much and float through life without having to change. To be totally committed in your pursuit of a worthwhile goal takes effort, work, and sweat. To persevere, until the end results are achieved, most of the time seems to take more than we can muster. This is where faith comes in. A faith not based in self-confidence, in family and friends, or in the system, but an action faith in a living God. A faith that says, “GOD IS!”

A faith built on hearing God’s word and acting on it. A faith built on living God’s word and experiencing the fruit. A belief that is built on walking with God and discovering His true character. Without faith, total abandonment looks reckless. With faith, total abandonment is the high adventure and thrill of pursuing God’s kingdom. It’s like driving down the freeway of life with the knowledge that the road was built by God, the vehicle was developed by God and the police patrolling the road are servants of God. So that no matter what obstacle may come your way, you have faith that God is in control.

So tell me, isn’t it easier to drive forward than in reverse?

Dr. Mike



How Do You Cultivate a Ministry for God’s Kingdom in Your World Today?

By Dr. Mike

The theological and biblical foundation for ministry is the acceptance of a personal calling built on individual and community values shaped through time, education, and life experiences. This essay therefore outlines a ministry built on making God’s Kingdom come alive in a person’s world by exercising a daily life transformation process of 1) accepting Jesus Christ’ as Lord, Redeemer, Teacher, Hero, and Friend; 2) learning to work with and follow the lead of the Holy Spirit in one’s life, and 3) receiving confirmation by the results God produces in one’s world. The outcome leads the Jesus-Apprentice to taste God’s Kingdom today while simultaneously being spiritually transformed for eternity.KINGDOM 7

1) Kingdom of God

The central-theme of Jesus Christ’s ministry pertains to proclaiming the Kingdom of God.(1)  Jesus expounded his role as the Messiah, King and Lord.(2)  He instructed others on standards of conduct within the Kingdom.(3)  He assigned seats of authority to his inner circle of twelve disciples when the Kingdom makes it complete arrival on earth.(4)  He died at the hands of the Romans as the King of the Jews.(5)  His entire ministry was spent in preparing his chosen few to become equip to lead and teach others regarding the Kingdom.

He spoke of a new world government rather than a heavenly retirement home.  Isaiah prophesied the same.(6)  Just prior to Jesus’ birth, angels proclaim his kingship to His mother.(7)  Throughout scripture the emphasis is on government and begs the question “Who shall you serve?  In today’s American culture, people have lost the significance of a higher authority or heavenly government and no longer ask “Who is my boss” or “Who am I accountable to?”   Instead, each person generally focuses on pleasing themselves and has become their own creator, unless God’s Spirit is regenerating their life.

God hates rebellion.(8)  When people fail to acknowledge His reign in their life they are openly rebelling against their Creator.  And like any form of government, open or even quiet rebellion leads to disunity and eventual removal from its protection. In our world, defiance to governmental authority may lead to expulsion or even capital punishment. God though wants all people to willingly participate within His governmental operations. He wants all people to come under his benevolent authority and reap the benefits of His Kingdom.

The concept of God’s Kingdom lays the foundation and goal of a person’s life.  When a person understands that this life is a preparation for eternity, the means become just as important as the end results. When one begins to understand and place scripture together, one must ask the question, “What are Christ-followers being prepared for after death?”  The answers are gray, but imply a certain theme of leadership.  John writes that you shall “be king and priests”(9)  An implication of a combined governmental and ministry role, not hammock swingers.  It also raises the question of what characteristics are important for Kingdom living.  Will people be allowed to enter without God’s love, faith in Christ, or hope in His Promises as the cornerstone of their life?  Will those with unrepentant illicit behavior be allowed entrance? (10)

The Bible records the outcome of the Kingdom as a new heaven and a new earth and the beginning of a new age.(11)  The Christ-follower learns today how to live in harmony, in oneness, and in relationship with the Lord of the Kingdom – Jesus Christ.  As a Believer walks with his Lord, he becomes familiar with His commands, His techniques with working with people, His desires and His goals for living. Only Believers partake in a taste of the Kingdom today.

The message of the Kingdom carried more weight with the Jewish recipients in the first century who were waiting for the return of the Messiah and the establishment of the prophetic Kingdom.(12)  The message of the Kingdom is the prophetic vision turned into reality.  The reason God chose Israel, blessed them, produced Jesus’ lineage and the church from them is the eternal process of the heavenly plan set in place from the beginning of time.


2) Jesus Our Model for Ministry

Though Jesus stands as the ideal model for ministry, being fully God and fully man gives Him an advantage that today’s minister can never attain.  However, if God in the flesh preached a certain message, practiced certain disciplines, and fulfilled a preplanned mission, what does it state to all ministers today as they follow Him with the assistance of the Holy Spirit?

What message did Jesus preached?  He started His ministry preaching the good news of the Kingdom of God. He likewise gave narrative parables on describing the Kingdom of God. Wherever He went, God’s Kingdom came alive – demons were cast away, diseases disappeared from people’s lives, illnesses were cured, sins were forgiven, the dead were resurrected.

Likewise, He outlined His job description fulfilling a prophetic anointing of the Spirit and invested the remaining part of His ministry completing it. Wherever He went, the Spirit was ignited with a touch, a question, a word, or a parable.

3) Jesus Pre-Told, Told, and Post-Told His Life’s Ministry.

How many people do you know throughout history that foretold their accomplishments before they were even born, achieved their goals, died, and then personally reviewed their life’s work putting everything into perspective?

The only person in history who can make that statement is Jesus Christ.  The Old Testament highlights scriptures that point and confirm the birth, place, and purpose of a Messiah that Jesus fulfilled in his lifetime.  During His ministry, he expounded and confirmed that He was the Messiah.  After His resurrection, he spent another forty days sharing and further teaching His disciples what His mission working through the Church is to accomplish.

Jesus is either who He claims to be or is not…and He gives all people the freedom to choose.

4) The Nature of God: Systematic Order, Love, and Reconciliation

God’s entire creation falls under his domain.  He created it, sustains it, and governs it in a systematic manner.  One only must look at creation to realize that an Intelligent Designer had to be involved.  The odds of probability are more realistic with Intelligence behind the wheel than every systematic order just simply evolving into its current position.  God’s nature surrounds us through His creation, His purpose, and His method of operations.

God is love; but not uncontrolled love.  God’s love is built on holiness and is motivated with freedom for a person to choose to reciprocate the same love back to Him and with others.  God’s character resounds with love.  Paul writes in Corinthians describing what love is which also describes what God is like.(13)

Likewise, God wants all people to be reconciled back to him and have a meaningful relationship with Him. Satan, sin, and death have taken people away from God.  This world’s systems are based on values contra to God’s.  The good news of Jesus Christ is that his death and resurrection brings victory from Satan, sin, and death. He accepted the death penalty for all people and his victorious life after death makes him ruler over all powers and authorities with Satan, sin, and death subject to himself.

 5) The Church Continues Jesus Ministry

The last command Jesus gave the Church was to be proactive in making disciples, bringing them into the spiritual family of God, and teaching them how life in God’s Kingdom is to be lived.(14)  Just as Jesus lived his life with purpose, He also lived doing good works.  Wherever He went and was addressed with a need that was within His ability to correct or heal, He did.  Like His job description(15), He touched people’s life fulfilling his calling.  Every touch, every word, every miracle, every parable was an introduction into making God’s Kingdom come alive before others.

The Church continues His purpose today.  For example, whenever a disaster occurs, the universal body reaches out to help.

Though many faith communities have lost the power to achieve results that Christ accomplished, there are a few ministries where God’s power is constantly being demonstrated through its membership and throughout the community.  Most of these though are in foreign countries where Christianity is growing exponentially and is not stagnate as in the United States.(16)

In the United States, Christ-followers without status or name recognition are ministering to those in need and fulfilling the same ministry that Christ started in the first century. When one reviews any denominational monthly magazine, the articles communicate how members are serving their communities, neighbors, and local congregations.  Each article generally refers to Believers acting on a ministry which Christ started in the first century.

6) The Holy Spirit Is Always WorkingKINGDOM 6

On that first Pentecost after Christ ascended to heaven, the Holy Spirit made His public debut by baptizing the disciples with fire, gifting people to understand what was being preached no matter what language they communicated in, and leading over 3,000 people to accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior.(17)

With Christ out of the picture, the apostles continued with preaching His message and conducting the same work in healing and proclaiming the Kingdom of God.(18)  The agent that was producing all this was the Holy Spirit.  In the name of Christ, the Holy Spirit continued the same Work in the first century and continues the same Work today.

A recent slogan campaign read “What Would Jesus Do”?  It would have been more appropriate if it asked “What is Jesus Doing?” The first slogan puts the emphasis on ethical behavior whereas the second focuses more on being aware of God’s Work in one’s world. The first puts emphasis on what one is doing, the other on what God is doing.

As one pursues God, investing more time walking with Him, and studying His word and creation while experiencing transformation, one learns how the Spirit works in peoples’ lives.  From working with a person prior to conversion and through the regeneration process, the Spirit leads.  It is God’s Spirit that is always working.  Jesus made the same claim regarding his Father.

Yet the Spirit doesn’t reside where disobedience thrives.  When the Christ-follower diligently pursues God’s Kingdom and His righteousness, the Spirit becomes more alive in the person’s life. As the wind blows but no one can see it, the results though are made known.  The same is true with the Spirit.  The Spirit cannot be seen, but His results are noticed.  For example, someone to say in a believing fashion “Jesus is Lord” requires the Spirit’s involvement.  Again, to understand the relationship between Law and Grace requires the Spirit’s involvement.

As the Christ-follower submits to the Lord’s lead, the Spirit plays a greater role in their development.  For example in praying, whenever words escape us the Spirit leads us to what to pray for.  Or in serving the church, the Spirit provides us with gifts that we can share with one another in building up the Body. As one learns how the Spirit works within ones personal life, than one is able to become more aware of its working in the lives of others. A Biblical example would be the apostle Paul.

In Paul’s letters, he wrote about his relationship with Jesus Christ and his experience being led by the Holy Spirit.  How can someone write such concepts unless one also lived the experience? For example Paul understood and wrote about: the working of the Spirit in the regeneration process;(19)  that the Spirit exudes love in the Believer;(20)  only those led by the Spirit are sons of God;(21)  the Spirit provides the means for a personal relationship with the Heavenly Father;(22)  the Spirit intercedes for Believers;(23)  the Spirit translates the things of God for Believers;(24)  the Spirit gives Believers tools to serve others in the Church;(25)  the Spirit is at war with the world’s powers;(26)  the Spirit generates God’s character in Believers;(27)  the Spirit leads one to eternal life;(28)  the Spirit surrounds Believers with freedom;(29)  the Spirit empowers Believers to have faith, speak, and acknowledge that Jesus is Lord;(30)  the Spirit is a guarantee of God’s promises;(31)  and that the Spirit confirms that the Believer is Christ’s.(32)

7) The 21st Century Mission Versus 1st Century Mission

When comparing the 1st century Work with the 21st century, there are similarities and differences that one can learn from to apply in mission today.  The 1st century mission was to proclaim the good news throughout the world making disciples of all people, baptizing them into the God family, and teaching them all that Jesus taught.(33)  The same mission continues in the 21st century.

Though in the 21st century, a greater movement is occurring in the poorer economic countries, however the higher challenge remain in the richer countries like the US and Europe.  The challenge facing the American mission field are the miss-communications of the gospel or the partial message being conveyed to its hearers. Both a similar problem discussed in the early church.(34)  The world’s culture has a greater influence in the church than kingdom priorities and values.

Paul wrote to the Galatians church chastising them for acceptance of a different gospel from what he initially preached to them.(35)  He preached a gospel of grace that is based on believing Jesus Christ is the Messiah, Lord, and Redeemer.  Today’s generations typically hear a message of Jesus as Savior, but do not understand His role as their Messiah or Lord. The vision of what discipleship brings and what messiah means is missed by today’s ignorant church member. Being raised in today’s current Christian culture with its similarity with today’s worldly culture, the basic understanding of scripture has disappeared from their life.(36)  Christian leaders need to make the message of scripture become real in today’s Christ-follower.  Otherwise, today’s Christian becomes another world religion and not the life-changing, transforming relationship of walking with the living God.

new life

8) Need to Develop and Equip People to Lead Ministry.

Besides being teacher and shepherd, today’s elder must also be a Kingdom coach, discipleship mentor, and vision caster.  Paul writes in Ephesians that the church must educate, equip, and prepare its people for ministry.(37)  The church member is not a spectator, but a participant in the Work of the ministry.  The body of Christ is a team focused on following the lead of the Holy Spirit towards influencing Kingdom results in people’s lives.(38)

As Christ-followers learn to deny themselves,(39) discover their spiritual gifts,(40) and learn to follow the lead of the Holy Spirit in their life,(41) they will eventually find themselves in a ministry that continues the Work of Jesus Christ in some fashion.  The Work may be a healing ministry, a preaching ministry, a teaching ministry, or any one of the areas that Christ wants that person to move into to serve others and be an ambassador for God’s Kingdom.

There is no greater role for an elder but upon leaving their assignment to have other elders or deacons in place to continue the work that was started.(42)  A faith community without spiritual lay leadership in place will eventually become unfruitful and stagnate.  A congregation that relies solely on its pastor for ministry will rarely grow.  One person can only accomplish so much.  It takes a team of dedicated servant leaders to rally, direct, motivate, and channel its resources towards Kingdom objectives.  When a faith community can see, touch, and speak with lay members who are living examples of spiritual energy and allow themselves to be mentored by such Christ-followers, the church has resources that are more valuable than facilities, programs, or even sermon messages.

The greatest sermons are those never preached, but only lived.  The best is a lay leadership team solely inspired by the Holy Spirit to unleash its faith community for ministry.  Pastors must take charge to develop such a team that will outlive their tenure and always stay focus on Kingdom work.

9) Growing Beyond Ones Comfort Zone

Each person learns church by watching what others do.  If one grew up in a faith community, one most likely attended with their parents.  If one started attending later in life, one chose a community that felt comfortable with the surroundings. Either way, church to each person is what one has experienced within a community of believers. Therefore, when one talks about Church one typically visualizes one’s current experiences to date.

Pastors are typically trained to do church dependent on the denominational seminary attended.  The results of the denominations speak for themselves as many are losing members and new seekers are not interested in their culture.  The fastest growing churches today are typically non-denominational with an entrepreneurial flair.  That is senior pastors are thinking out-of-the-box to reach people from their perspective rather than from the churches vantage point.

For today’s Pastor to reach beyond current norms, one must change perspectives from communicating with Churchy phraseology to current marketplace terminology.  In addition, one must change from presenting the gospel within its church walls to reaching out into the community with the same message but living it out loud.

For most pastors, the change is difficult.  Most pastors are trained in biblical knowledge and counseling skills but not in management or leadership.  The latter two are business skills that separate the growth churches from stagnate, dying churches. Most people are content to keep the status quo including pastors.  However, if a pastor is willing to follow the lead of the Holy Spirit, he will start an adventurous journey to lead their assigned faith community to make the largest kingdom impact within their world.

Whatever skill sets are missing, the Spirit will provide.(43)  The pastor may not initially recognize them, but over time the fruit will come out and the results will be produced when one steps out in faith and allows God’s Work and not church politics or bureaucracy have its way.  The safe route without risks produces unexcitable results. When calculated risks are taken, faith applied, and the Spirit-empowers, the results produce personal growth and organizational achievement.

When one pushes ones comfort zone, one must depend on God greater than ever. When the results are achieved, one also realizes where the growth and success comes from, and it’s not from self, but from a loving God who cares and wants His people to grow in grace and knowledge.  The push beyond ones comfort zone creates the environment for one to rely on God and see how great a God one serves.

10) Conclusion

The basis for a theology of ministry is built on scripture, personal relationship with the living God, and the life experiences based on faithful living.  The fundamental beliefs are the scriptural foundation of God’s kingdom now and in its future completeness, discipleship with Jesus Christ and His message, His resurrection and future resurrection of believers, plus the current Work of the Holy Spirit.  The bottom-line is helping people develop a stronger, personal relationship with the living God and allow God to have His way with each believer.

In summary, the ideal ministry is built on making God’s Kingdom come alive in a person’s world by exercising a daily transformation process of 1) accepting Jesus Christ’ reign as Lord, Savior, Teacher, Hero, and Friend; 2) learning to follow the lead of the Holy Spirit in one’s life; and 3) receiving confirmation by the kingdom results God produces in one’s world.


[1] Mark 1:14-15; “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!”

Luke 4:43-44; But he said, “I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because          that is why I was sent.”  And he kept on preaching in the synagogues of Judea.   NIV

[2] John 4:25-26; The woman said, “I know that Messiah (called Christ) is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.” Then Jesus declared, “I who speak to you am he.”  NIV

John 13:12-13; “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. NIV

John 18:37; “You are a king, then!” said Pilate. Jesus answered, “You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.”  NIV

[3] Matthew Chapter 5 through Chapter 8

[4] Matt 19:28-29; Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. NIV

[5] Matt 27:37; Above his head they placed the written charge against him: THIS IS JESUS, THE KING OF THE JEWS. NIV

[6] Isa 9:6-7; For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it

with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this. NIV

[7] Luke 1:29-33; But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.” NIV

[8] 1 Sam 15:23; For rebellion is like the sin of divination.   Jer 28:16; Therefore, this is what the LORD says: ‘I am about to remove you from the face of the earth. This very year you are going to die, because you have preached rebellion against the LORD.'” NIV

[9] Rev 5:10; You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth.” NIV

[10] Gal 5:19-21; The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. NIV

[11] Rev 21:1-5; Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

[12] Nelson Bible Dictionary: Kingdom of God;

[13]1 Corinthians 13; If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. NIV

[14] Matt 28:17-20; Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. NIV

[15] Luke 4:17-21; The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written: “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor.  He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him, and he began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your earing.”


[16] Christian History Institute, The Explosion of Christianity in Africa: An Unprecedented Spread of the Faith, Glimpses #151, 2003.

[17] Acts 2:1-4; 40-41; When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. ..With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day. NIV

[18] Acts 8:12; But when they believed Philip as he preached the good news of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. NIV

Acts 19:8; Paul entered the synagogue and spoke boldly there for three months, arguing persuasively about the kingdom of God. NIV

[19]Gal 6:14-15; Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is a new creation. NIV

[20] Rom 5:5; because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

[21] Rom 8:14; because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. NIV

[22] Rom 8:14-17; For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba,  Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs-heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. NIV

[23]Rom 8:26-27; In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will.  NIV

[24] 1 Cor 2:11-15; We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us. This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words.   The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.  NIV

[25] 1 Cor 12:4-5; There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. NIV

[26] Eph 2:1-3; As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath.


[27] Gal 5:22-25; But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. NIV

[28] Gal 6:7-9; A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. NIV

[29] 2 Cor 3:16-18; Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. NIV

[30] 1 Cor 12:2-3; Therefore I tell you that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus be cursed,” and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit. NIV

[31] 2 Cor 1:21-22; He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.  NIV

[32] Rom 8:9-11; You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness. And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you. NIV

[33] Matt 28:17-20; Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. NIV

[34] Dallas Willard, “Discipleship: For Super-Christians Only?”, Christianity Today, October 10, 1980.

[35] Gal 1:6-7; I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel- which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. NIV

[36] The Great Omission, Dallas Willard, 2006, pg 172


[37] Eph 2:10; For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. NIV

Eph 4:11-13; It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. NIV

[38] Frank R. Tillapaugh, Unleashing the Church, 1982.

[39] Matt 16:24-25; Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. NIV

[40] 1 Cor 12:4-6; There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men. NIV

[41] Rom 8:14; because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. NIV

[42] Aubrey Malphurs, “Developing a Vision for Ministry in the 21st Century, 1999, p 157.

[43] Rom 8:26-27; And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will. NIV


Aubrey Malphurs, “Developing a Vision for Ministry in the 21st Century, 1999, p 157.

Christian History Institute, The Explosion of Christianity in Africa: An Unprecedented Spread of the Faith, Glimpses #151, 2003.

Dallas Willard, The Great Omission, 2006, pg 172

Dallas Willard, “Discipleship: For Super-Christians Only?”, Christianity Today, October 10, 1980.

Frank R. Tillapaugh, Unleashing the Church, 1982.

The Kingdom of God: Nelson Bible Dictionary