NASHVILLE?Dallas pastor Mac Brunson of First Baptist Church drew from the apostle Paul’s instructions to Timothy to relate the importance of preaching biblically, ministering to people and being “on mission” around the world. “He began to reflect back on his own personal ministry and say, ‘Everything God called me to do I was faithful to do. I served with a clear conscience.'”
Warning Timothy to kindle afresh the gift God had placed within him, Paul reminded Timothy to “stick to the word,” Brunson said. Moving to 2 Timothy 1:15-16, Brunson told pastors, “You are called to do more than master texts and tradition. You are called to have a devotion to ministry and mission.” From the examples Paul cited of individual believers who had abandoned him in a time of great need, Brunson said ministers often neglect ministering to one another.
“I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that coming to these conventions are men who are at the end of their rope. You’re struggling. You’re hurting. It’s tough and you’re frustrated.” He speculated that some came to the convention as the last thing to be done before going back to resign a church, leave a wife or give up on ministry.
“The thing that concerns me is we say we’re the most committed to ministry, yet those of us so often seem to be the least concerned with a brother that is hurting. We don’t even stop and speak to somebody in the hallway. It’s as if my position is so great and so important and you are so beneath me that I don’t have time for you because you can’t pull power plays and you can’t benefit me.”
Like the child who refuses his mother’s instruction in etiquette by saying he’ll use the proper silverware when he’s away from home, Brunson said, “If we don’t minister to one another in here why should God let us get out of here and say we’re going to minister out there?
The lone example Paul gave to commend ministry shown to him was Onesiphorus, Brunson said, describing the service he offered as a cool breeze on a hot day. “Some guys say I don’t have to go overseas to do missions. We can do that right here at home.” From verse 17, Brunson observed that Onesiphorus eagerly searched for Paul. “You’re not gonna find them sitting on your blessed assurance in your pastor’s study. You’re gonna have to decide God didn’t just call you to preach. God called you to minister and part of ministry is missions.”
Brunson said he’d spent the last several years doing everything he could to be able to stand and say that a church can begin as large a building program as it wants to and still do more for missions than has ever been done before. “Your ministry at home should never negate your ministry around the world.”