Here are my notes for Chapter 10:
1. What have I found helpful/insightful in this chapter?
“Personal Ministry is not about always knowing what to say. It is not about fixing everything in sight that is broken. Personal Ministry is about connecting people with Christso that they are able to think as he would have them think…” p184.
This is the most helpful reminder of what personal ministry is all about. Sometimes we make Personal ministry a personal achievement of solving a problem that someone has. We make it a chance to glorify what we have done, but it is all down to the work of God. We are connecting people back to Christ. We are helping people get back on the road and continue the walk of life, not by themselves, but in the company of the Lord Jesus Christ. We are to get people back in contact with the living God and for them to cast their sins and problems on to him.
We need to be filled with awe at what the Lord has called us to participate in. It is not just gathering “data” but also to make sense of it. How do we make sense of it? Through God’s word.
Biblical personal ministry must be biblical, but Paul warns us in 2 Corth 11:1-3
“I hope you will put up with a little of my foolishness; but you are already doing that. 2 I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him. 3 But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ.”
We tend to go astray from Christ. Tripp gives us the warning
“If you do not help people to see their story from a distinctly biblical, Christ-centred perspective, your ministry will do nothing but lob theological platitudes and principles at them” p 186.
We need to direct people to Christ, and allow them to read his word and allow God to minister to them through his word. Take away God’s word, and it becomes an ineffective to a person needing help.
They have been very insightful for my ministry.
2. How will what I’ve read apply to my preaching ministry or counselling?
I need to remember that when I talk to someone, I need the word of God right there beside me. I need to be aware when I go astray from God’s word. When I preach, I see the fundamental objective as connecting people to Christ. I need to bring them to Christ in all of my talks, but also in my conversations. I’m not the problem solver, but Christ is, and those whom I will Counsel will need to realise that they need to sort themselves out with God, and not myself.
3. Next time we meet I would like to discuss…
The ways we can help each other, when we see someone being led astray from a “sincere and pure devotion to Christ”.