Igniting Passion for Ministry

By Jeff Reiter

The number of good ideas people have for effective Christian ministry is amazing. Proverbs 19:21 says, "Many are the plans in a man's heart." God's word tells us that a people without vision will perish. However, the problem is that those with the vision are waiting for someone else to act upon them, leaving these good ideas unrealized. The church has a great deal of vision, but what it is lacking is passion.

Passion is faith ignited by the burden and brokenness of the hurting world around us. For many Christians, the words of Jesus have become reality: "For the heart of this people has become dull, and with their ears they scarcely hear, and they have closed their eyes lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart and return, and I should heal them" (Matthew 13:15). Dull bodies come from overeating and inactivity. Dull hearts come from taking in that which does not fulfill the spirit, dimming the eyes to the real pain around us. Dull hearts lead to hearing loss, preventing us from hearing God's call to the ministry of others.

As a retired firefighter, I understand the principles of a flame. In order for fire to start, grow, and continue to burn, it requires three basic things: a fuel source, an ignition source, and a continual flow of oxygen. Take away any of the three, and the fire will cease to exist.

Likewise, a burning passion for ministry requires three basic things to remain vibrant: fuel, ignition, and a continual flow of glorious breath.

Our fuel source is the love and compassion of Christ. We are doused in our love relationship with the God who is love. Compassion for others flows out from His love for us and our love for Him. As we pursue that love relationship, we will never lack the fuel to keep the fire burning.

But without passionate ignition, vision is useless. What can ignite the fuel of love and compassion? The impact of faith. When our faith impacts the lives of the hurting community God has placed us in, the love that God has given us ignites into sacrificial compassion.

The last element of passion is a continual breath to keep it alive. Though the fuel of our love is ignited by a faith impact with the hurting world around us, if the oxygen is depleted, the fire will go out. Rely upon the Holy Spirit to breathe the oxygen of God's glory into our vision for ministry, and the passion will continue to burn brightly.

Have your ministry ideas and visions fallen flat? Are you waiting for someone else to step in and take action? Has the passion in your ministries become dull and lifeless? Find your fuel, ignite it, and allow the Holy Spirit to breathe life in it. May your fiery passion for ministry burn once again!

Image Credit: Dennis Wilkinson; "165/365 — Playing with Matches"; Creative Commons

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Published 3-21-13