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Ministry Progress in Question

Article By: Darrell Greene

The dawn of a new year will most always approach with great accolades of upcoming achievements. Goals will be set, plans will be made, enthusiasm will be generated, and promises will be communicated. Such is the case with the arrival of every new year. There’s certainly nothing wrong with that. It is helpful and motivational and can often produce great results. The old adage rings true to plan your work and work your plan. Sometimes, however, it’s easy to become disillusioned when progress is slow or even undetectable no matter how hard we try to work the plan. It can become extremely discouraging when we can’t detect progress being made.

To help us face and deal with such a possibility this year, I want to reference an unusual verse found in 1 kings 6:7. It was part of God’s instruction to Solomon regarding the building of the first temple in Jerusalem. Right in the midst of all the detailed plans and instructions the Lord had given to Solomon, the Lord includes this unusual directive in verse 7. The verse reads, “ And the house, when it was being built, was built of stone made ready before it was brought there: so that there was neither hammer nor ax, nor any tool of iron heard in the house while it was being built.” It seems so strange doesn’t it? The whole magnificent temple of Solomon being built without the obvious indicators of work being accomplished. There is no sound of hammer, chisel or iron tool in this process. Work was being done, progress was being made, but to the undiscerning eye or ear, It may seem not to be so.

May I postulate that sometimes the work of the ministry may seem a little like this. We know the work is continuing, but there may be periods of time when progress is simply not that detectable. We can’t see it, we can’t hear it, we can’t feel it, but that doesn’t mean that progress isn’t happening.This may even be a veiled reference to the work of the Holy Spirit in the progressive work of ministry. He is not always seen, heard, or felt as we would expect Him to be, but that doesn’t mean He’s not working. Sometimes He is working invisibly, inaudibly and unexpectedly behind-the-scenes, preparing us for the next move forward in ministry. We should not counteract that by pulling out the hammer, ax or chisel so that we can form a future ministry that is not designed by God at all. The worship song, Waymaker, reminds us that, “ Even when I don’t see it, you’re working, even when I don’t feel it, you’re working, you never stop, you never stop working. “ 1 Peter 2:5 reads, “ ye also, as living stones are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.” We can trust Him and believe Him even when ministry progress seems questionable for a while. He will complete the work. Progress will inevitably become recognizable as we remain faithful to our Lord who is building His church.

Article By: Darrell Greene

Pastoral Care & Counseling

Cornerstone Conference IPHC

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