Personal Ministry

By Dr. Ken Matto
 
(Col 4:15 KJV) Salute the brethren which are in Laodicea, and Nymphas, and the church which is in his house.
 
When we look at the above verse we read that there was a church in the house of a man named Nymphas. Nothing more is known of him and this is the only verse in the Bible where he is mentioned. Now I started out this article with this one verse and this brother who is mentioned only one time in the Bible to bring to light the fact that each of us can have a personal ministry in whatever realm we are empowered in by the Holy Spirit. Every true Christian has a spiritual gift which means every Christian is empowered to perform a ministry in a certain area.
 
For too long, many Christians have relegated their spiritual gifts to the giving of money to an organization, including the church, but have neglected the gift that is within them. Unfortunately, too many Christians are settled into the belief that if they give money to a ministry or a church, they have then done all they could to send forth the gospel. A good home church is not the end of your ministry but it should be the beginning of your ministry. We meet on Sunday morning, not to complete our ministry but to get a spiritual boost in our ministry. I don’t know about you, but I am spiritually refreshed when I leave church on Sunday morning. It is the time when we gather together to be ministered to and be re-energized.
 
Now there is nothing biblically wrong with giving money to a solid church or ministry but I want you to think from a different angle. Let us say there is a church with 500 saved people in it. Those 500 bring their tithes and offerings into the church and that is all they do as fulfillment in their ministries. Now we have one pastor preaching the Gospel. This means that 500 people have relegated their ministry to one man but that ministry stays within the confines of the church building unless they have some type of outreach. Now the point I am making is, if those 500 people would view themselves as being empowered by the Holy Spirit to do some type of individual ministry, there would be 500 ministries in that church and not just one! Do you see what I am trying to get across?
 
It is the same situation with para-church ministries. Let us say there is a solid ministry on the radio and 5,000 people are giving faithfully each month. The preacher on the radio says that we are all banding together to get the Gospel out through his radio ministry, and that is true. However, 5,000 people have now relegated the Great Commission to one man instead of having 5,000 personal ministries to go into places radio preachers cannot. There is nothing that says we cannot have a personal ministry simultaneous with supporting our church or good, solid ministries.
 
Why should big cities like New York, Sydney, Berlin, Moscow, Philadelphia, and others have such minimal spiritual activity outside the doors of a church? Big cities contain thousands of Christians and yet on any given day you can scarcely find 10 out on the streets doing any personal ministry. Let us create a scenario which is not unrealistic. In a city like New York, I can guarantee you can find 5,000 Christians. If each one handed out 1,000 tracts per day, this would mean that the people of New York City, on any given day would receive 5 million tracts which would be half the population of that city. You can hand out 1,000 tracts in about 3 hours in a city that size. When I went to the streets of my hometown of Perth Amboy, NJ, I was able to hand out 500 tracts in 2 hours. The key to this is that each Christian do something.
 
The lack of personal ministry is alarming. Christians seem to feel that once they write their check to a ministry or attend church, their obligation is done. Nothing could be farther from the truth. When did the Great Commission end? We sing that great Hymn, “Onward Christian Soldiers” and one of the stanzas says, “Like a mighty army, moves the church of God.” WHERE IS THAT ARMY? Take a look at an army. You have a General commanding thousands of troops into battle. Now who does the fighting? Is it the General or the Troops? It is the troops! What Christians have done is instead of fighting in an army, they send the General into battle and the troops stay home. The parallel is that the thousands of Christians allow one pastor or radio preacher to do all the ministry, while they do nothing. Then they go to church and murmur and complain that the unbelievers are overtaking the church and country. With no opposition, it is easy to conquer!
 
The time has come for Christians, especially in these last days, to halt the practice of consigning ministry to others. It is unfortunate, but many media ministries are falling by the wayside and are accepting ungodly religions as acceptable paths to Heaven. Too many of these media ministries are only out for the money and the main speakers are normally unqualified to be sole spokespeople for Christians. It is time for Christians to take back the fort and rebuild the army and move mightily. I do not find anything in Scripture where we are to transfer our responsibilities of evangelism totally to anyone else. That is nothing more than laziness and dereliction of duty. There is supposed to be 50 million Born Again Christians in the United States. That is approximately 1 out of every 6 people. You mean you don’t have the time to hand out 5 tracts?
 
The Pastor or Elders cannot do your work for you. They are only one person each and they cannot get into places that you can. They can’t get into your work place, your places of leisure, or your extended family, or the streets of your town.
 
Now I want to give a sample list of personal ministries which you can do without having to expend exorbitant amounts of money. You see God made ministry very economical so His children in every country can fulfill their obligation of sending forth the Gospel. Plus, you have the full backing of Heaven when you do ministry. Do not worry about where the funds will come from because that is the Lord’s business. You are reading this on my personal website and there are people, who I have never personally met, which have sent in literally hundreds of dollars to support it and they do not concern themselves about a tax deductible receipt. In fact, some time ago two incarcerated men sent funds to help support this site. Their checks were about 5-7 dollars per month, sometimes every other month. This does not sound like much but if you realize that prisoners are paid pennies per hour, you will realize that they were sacrificing for the sake of the Gospel.  
 
(Phil 4:17 KJV) Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account.

Why would I accept funds from prisoners who only get a few dollars a month? I did so because they became part of the ministry outreach of this site and to deny them the opportunity to reach others for Christ, would be a sin against God and a sin against younger brothers in the faith who have caught the real vision for reaching others for Christ. Their ministries extended beyond the prison walls. (2 Tim 2:8-9 KJV) Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel: {9} Wherein I suffer trouble, as an evil doer, even unto bonds; but the word of God is not bound. These two men shared in the Great Commission of sending forth the Gospel while they were unable to leave prison. Now I had no idea that the studies from this site were being used in prisons in New Jersey and California.

Now do you understand the great blessings you will encounter when you get into personal ministry? Don’t concern yourself with those Christians who refuse to give to your ministry because they don’t get a tax deductible receipt. Those people are in bondage to their money. They want something in return for their money, namely money. Quite frankly, I would rather have the blessings of God on my life rather than the blessings of the IRS. Just walk away from the “give to get” crowd. God will raise up the funds for you. This is an aside. As I was writing this, I had been out of work for 15 months. In my personal budget, the division with the most amount of money in it was for the web site. (Phil 4:19 KJV) But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
 

Here is my present cost for the website:

$209 per year for the hosting.

This comes out to $17.40 per month - $4.01 per week - 57 per day - 2.4 per hour

Many ministries close daily so their people can go home to their families each night. Your website ministers to people when you are sleeping. Isn’t it nice to be able to be sleeping while you are being obedient to the Lord in the Great Commission? Could God have made this ministry any easier for us and convenient for the brethren in different parts of the world to be able to download all the Christian materials they need without having to wait several months for a shipment of materials, with the possibility of having them destroyed by a hostile government? If you have an Internet Provider that gives a few Megabytes for free, then by all means build your website and get the Gospel out. There can never be enough Christian websites on the Internet. Don’t fall for Satan’s lie that there are enough sites out there and yours won’t get noticed.
 
I started this website in November 1997 and have been sending forth the Gospel on the Internet for 19 years without any interruption. After the 9/11 tragedy I wrote an article which was downloaded by a brother in Germany, who translated it into German and then proceeded to hand out over 100 copies in his church. I have no idea how many people, both unbelievers and believers, and in what countries they are in which have come to this site, and quite frankly, I don’t need to know. Am I bragging? No, I am mentioning this to show that your personal ministry will never be bound either, no matter what it is. Our responsibility before God is to be faithful and He will handle the extent of the ministry. Now let us look at some other personal ministries that you can fund out of your own pocket initially.
 
Tract Ministry
This is old faithful as any Christian can have a tract ministry for very low cost. You can even print your own tracts on a computer and make several copies on a sheet of paper. Tracts are good because written material does not tend to change the message the second time as humans can do. General evangelism tracts are not the only type of tracts to use. You should also use surgical tracts which pinpoint a certain religion or situation. For example, Chick tracts has two very good surgical tracts. They are “Allah had no Son” which targets Islam and “Are Roman Catholics Christians?” which specifically targets Roman Catholic Doctrine and gets the reader to think. Find good tracts which do not neutralize the message of the Gospel. Find some that have Scripture in them and not only commentary.
 
Speaking Ministry
If you have the ability to speak publicly, then you can send out a letter to at least 100 churches in your town and you will get a call because bringing in a local speaker is much cheaper than bringing one in from a distance. My suggestion is that you gear your speaking ministry toward a specific element such as singles or couples, unless you choose to do general evangelism.
 
Home Ministry
Remember we started out this article with Nymphas who had the church in his home. Maybe you can open up your home for a Bible study or a church event.
 
Literature Ministry
You may be able to find places that sell Bibles very cheaply or good Christian literature and then send them to missionaries overseas or you can give them to people you know or whom God brings across your path.
 
Summary
I think you get the message that there is a ministry designed for every Christian. Christians need to reevaluate their involvement in reaching the masses for Christ. We have a mandate to go into all the world. If our physical boss tells us to do something, we would do it immediately or we would fear to get fired. Then how come the one who redeemed us for eternity gives us a commission and we neglect it. This is an indicator that we are more closely tied to this world than we want to admit. As a Christian, if you do not get involved with personal ministry, then what is your reason of existence? Think About it! When the Lord calls you home, what will you have to show for all those years on earth? Will you give Him a stack of TV Guides or Souls?

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