So many people who want to be in ministry want to be in it for either themselves, or if they are slightly larger hearted, several people who they already know. I had honestly had people ask me to start a church in their town because their church is struggling and so all the people that are leaving are wanting somewhere to go. That’s the limit of their vision! I have been asked to plant a church next to a Bible College so the students have somewhere to go to – that’s the limit of the vision!
No – a true minister of God wants to reach others. It wants to reach the people who do not go to church or Bible College, it wants to reach the people who are from all over the earth. It wants to reach the people who are utterly unreachable, people who are not right there, but people who are out of the way. A true minister of God wants to reach people – all people.
A true minister of God cares about people he does not even know. As the Tree of Life Family grows, there will be people we reach I don’t know, our TV ministry is impacting many people I do not know. Sometimes people ask me why I travel so much, but the truth is that I want to reach people far away. Paul invested his life in others, and we should too!
It is hard for me in the Tree of Life Family sometimes to get people to think of others. Why are we going to all these places? Why are we building churches in all these towns? Why is your eye on Europe, why do you travel to America and Africa, isn’t there enough problems in the UK? Why are you planting in Cambridge? Why did you go to Dorset? Why are you in Suffolk? Guildford is doing fine, you don’t need to go there. What is your interest in this place or that place? I have a call of God on my life to go into all the world and make disciples. Sometimes I have to work on persuading people that it is all about others. I understand William Booth writing “others” as his special message for the church.
Paul had to keep reminding others to think of others. Paul raised up TImothy in ministry because he thought of others. My favourite pastors and elders are the ones who are thinking of others. My favourite places to minister are around people thinking of others. My favourite places to go are where there are others.
Paul told the Corinthians this:
I will very gladly spend and be spent for you, though the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved.2 Corinthians 12.15
We need to have the same attitude, and love others, even if it means that others love us less for it. I have certainly been loved less by certain people because I have loved others more. If I had stayed pastoring one church certain people would love me more because of it, but because I have a drive inside me to reach others, it has cost me friends, it has cost me love. But the rewards have totally outweighed the cost. And it will be the same for you.
What can you do for others today? Give to a ministry that is involved in world mission and planting churches! Pray for others. If you are part of the Tree of Life Family, go viist another one of the churches, or one of our Grace Gatherings when they open up and get involved helping and loving people. Pray for a country you have never been to. Pray for a church you have never been to. Ask the Lord for some wisdom here and He loves you and will lead you!