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image courtesy of Hans Slegers |

But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ. Ephesians 4:15

In my short time in church work, I’ve observed some of my tendencies.  It’s easy to focus my attention on secondary things instead of  the central focus that God wants me to have – serving others by teaching the truth of God.

I am learning that in serving others, the focus should be truth, (i.e., the Word of God, the Gospel of Christ, Jesus Himself, all of which are truth).  Biblical truth should be the central drive of church ministry, while other aspects of ministry point toward truth and facilitate growth in truth.

I’ve found it’s easy to get off focus and fall into these modes:

  1. Next Activity mode.  What’s the next fun thing we can do?
  2. Survival mode.  Just trying to keep pace with having the next activity or fellowship.
  3. Task Mode. Just focusing on doing the tasks to get the projects done or the next activity ready.

Please note that I am not proposing that we do away with our activities.  I am also not saying that you or I should lead boring ministries with no personal interaction.  These parts of ministry are helpful in building meaningful relationships in which truth can be transmitted from person to person.  I am saying that you and I as leaders should not forget to focus our attention on getting the truth of God into the lives of the people we serve.

Activities are great.  Tasks are essential.  But those aspects serve the ministry of the Word.

I believe there are still those young adults out there who are hungry for truth.  They’re fed up with the aimlessness of their pluralistic society, and something inside them resonates with the thought, “I can know what is true.” You and I need to serve them the truth of God, found in the Word of God.

Here is what a Truth-focused ministry leader does:

  1. He equips and prepares members to face deception. That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive. Ephesians 4:14
  2. He teaches truth that will free the members to walk with God personally. Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. John 8:32
  3. He challenges members toward growth. But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. 2 Peter 3:18
  4. He ministers to the spiritually hungry.  He understands that the spiritually hungry will attend truth-focused meetings. He realizes that others may drop out because they are either minimally interested or not interested in truth.  Jesus lost followers because of his “hard saying.” (John 6:60)  From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. John 6:66
  5. He shares truth that will strengthen the members to be solid believers, not carried about with every wind of doctrine. Eph. 4:14

Your teens may be great at prison ball, but are they being challenged to grow in their understanding of the truth of God?  Your single young adults may have lots of good Christian friends, but are they being shown how to get into the Word of God themselves and learn God’s truth?

Don’t let the secondary become primary.

How do you see the relationship of being truth-focused to being effective in ministry?