What is a Philosophy of Ministry?
Have you ever sat in a church service and wondered why things were structured the way they were? Perhaps, somewhere along the line, someone thought it would be a good idea to hire an interpretive worship dancer. Why? One church passes an offering plate while another drops their tithe into a box at the back of the room. Some congregations order their services around the preaching and teaching of God's Word, whereas others ignore the reading of Scripture altogether. The world is filled with a variety of churches that subscribe to diverse structures of church practice.
What we do as a church (and how we do it) is determined by our philosophy of ministry. Simply stated, a philosophy of ministry is the thought that drives a ministry’s actions. It is the reason behind the organization and execution of service. There is no such thing as a thoughtless undertaking; all efforts begin with an idea. Unfortunately, the modern evangelical landscape has been flooded by an ocean of bad ideas. Many, of which, are the result of man-centered theology. In the end, the waters rise and the people drown.
Where Do We Start?
If we are to effectively resist the rising tide of unbiblical thought and practice, we must make every effort to inform our endeavors with Scripture. In his first letter to the Thessalonians, Paul wrote these encouraging words:
And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers. — 1 Thessalonians 2:13
Accepting the Word of God as God’s Word is foundational for developing an effective philosophy of ministry. Our sovereign God (who cannot lie and has never made a mistake) has clearly spoken. Therefore, Scripture must be the functioning authority for everything we do. Unlike the word of man, God’s Word is entirely inerrant, trustworthy, and true. Once the source and superiority of Scripture has been accepted, God’s truth goes to work in the believer’s life.
How is this Philosophy Structured?
In an effort to succinctly disclose the philosophy that governs my practice, this document contains five essential duties that I believe are critical for authentic ministry. This list is far from comprehensive or exhaustive, but provides a basic outline of my non-negotiables. The faithful minister of Christ’s gospel must exposit truth, exemplify prayer, equip the saints, engage in worship, and evangelize the lost.