Here is a question that hit me while reading the Gospels and some other items on the topic of evangelism:
“Am I in love more with growing the church (ministry, or even reputation) than growing my relationship with Jesus?”
You see, you can get so involved in the time it takes to reach out to new people, care for current people, administrate and organize ministry or even get caught up in building your own reputation… THAT YOU LOSE SIGHT OF THE ULTIMATE MOTIVATION. The motivation of all the Christian life is to bring glory to the One who created, died, redeemed, saved, and was resurrected for me! My relationship with Jesus Christ is of utmost importance and the work of ministry is not a substitute for cultivating that intimacy with God.
Now, here’s the catch. If your relationship with Jesus is healthy, vital and growing THEN YOU WILL BEAR FRUIT. Ministry, evangelism, church growth are all RESULTS of spiritual vitality.
Jesus said so himself, “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:4-5
THEREFORE, my number 1 priority as a pastor is to abide in Jesus; not do the work of ministry. And a healthy, abiding pastor will in time make a healthy, abiding, growing church. May it be so for my life and SPBC.