BUT IT’S 2022, SHOULD MINISTERS BE HARD ON THEMSELVES?
This sort of question is usually being asked as a direct challenge to the relevance of God’s word amid the oscillatory motions of human civilization. This is more so as there is one constant thing on earth: INSTABILITY. Nothing on earth abides forever: Kings and kingdoms rise and fall; cultures evolve; even the generations of humankind are transient; earthquakes and volcanoes rearrange landscapes. Time, like a wind-tossed wave, floats temperamentally to its end. But God's word abides forever!
The good news however is that God’s word is not settled on earth but in heaven. Howbeit forever! (Psalm 119:89) This is why no matter the gyres and whirlwinds of change that blast through time, God’s word is unperturbed. God’s word is the foundation upon which God’s dealings with mankind are sustained through the ages. This is why even though all else changes under heaven, God’s word remains unchanged. It is therefore impossible for God’s word to be obsolete! God’s principles, methods and protocols of service delivery remain the same.
Service unto God must be done God's way; using God's principles, methods and life supplies in tandem with the operational allowance of His commands.
Ministry is born out of unreserved followership of the Lord Jesus. A minister must follow the Lord and follow those who follow the Lord. This entails daily self denial and taking up of one's cross (Luke 9:23). This is not some abstract concept: It is practically allowing God's government to regulate our thoughts, words and actions. God's character and power are released through our vessels for the edification of others.
Service is the doorway to greatness in the kingdom. You serve God by serving people and the resultant effect is greatness (Luke 22:26).
So who's a great minister? It is he/she who serves according to the will of God (on/off the pulpit). Human honour is a byproduct of this undertaking. When people fall over themselves to bless you with their substance, especially in response to your labours, note that it has nothing to do with you as a person, it has everything to do with the grace of God of which you're a steward. This should keep the minister humble. Again, this too should be organic: People should respond to the service you deliver to them by God's grace willingly.
If God required unalloyed servitude, service in bonds and willful imprisonment from Paul, the apostles and all His faithful servants through the crimson centuries, He surely would not condone compromise, worldliness and harmony with the flesh in 2022. The rigours, disciplines and stretchings of the Spirit that these ancestral folks underwent to torch their world with the lordship of Jesus Christ would not be watered down for us in 2022!
If the requirement of following Jesus 2000 years ago was for believers to deny themselves and take up their cross daily, guess what, this requirement still stands in 2022. And shall remain so in 2222 and beyond should Christ tarry. And this is not being hard on oneself, this is the basis for impactful ministry!