Have you ever wondered how to become better equipped for ministry and performing Kingdom work? Do you question if you could really help others grow in Jesus?
- We have countless resources at our disposal.
- We can listen to sermons and podcasts from people all over the world.
- We can take classes online or read numerous books covering any biblical topic you can think of.
While all those things are good and even recommended, they cannot take the place of our own up-close encounters with Jesus.
Why Having Firsthand Experience Makes All the Difference
Do you remember the first time you saw the ocean? No matter how many pictures you had seen, or stories you had heard, nothing could compare to walking the beach for the first time, feeling the sand between your toes, hearing the roar of the waves, smelling the salt water, seeing how vast the ocean is, as if it has no end.
Knowing about something is not the same as having firsthand experience.
In John 4:39-42, when others heard the woman at the well testify about her experience with Jesus, they believed her, but they sought Jesus out themselves. When they went from hearing about Him to meeting Him and hearing Him directly, they truly believed Jesus to be the Savior of the world. Like the Samaritans, all the testimonies and resources at our disposal are designed to draw us to Jesus, creating a longing to personally encounter Him for ourselves.
How did Jesus prepare to do God’s work? Isaiah 50:4-7 tells us, “Morning by morning He awakens me; He awakens my ear to hear as those who are taught.” Each morning, His Father woke Him, and Jesus simply listened, learned, and obeyed. Jesus spoke what He heard His father say and did what He saw His father doing. He spent time with others, spoke the truth of God in love, and when necessary was willing to suffer for it. That’s it.
Was the woman at the well any different? She had a firsthand encounter with Jesus and simply shared it with those around her and then lived as He told her to live. She was equipped for ministry by having an up-close experience with Him.
How to Be Equipped for Ministry
Jesus longs to equip each one of us to minister, serve, and love the people that He puts in our path in whatever season of life we find ourselves. He longs to use the stay-at-home wife and mother as well as those in the workplace. He has present opportunities for the child or teenager who wants to make a difference but doesn’t know how. He wants to guide the young adult trying to figure out life and career and give purpose to the senior adult who wonders if the best years of usefulness are behind them.
All of us can be equipped by God to minister to others if we will simply…
- Draw near to listen
- Spend time with Him
- Imitate in word and deed what we see and hear from Jesus in His life and ministry
We need to get back to the simplicity of our relationship with God, our Father. Our world fills us with ideas of trying to “know ourselves” and how to find the right formulas and methods. To say we need to simply get into God’s word seems like a trick answer.
Surely there must be more to it, right?
We can live life, seeing Jesus and hearing about Him through the lives of others, or we can begin to spend time with Him, listening to Him ourselves, allowing Him to teach us, in firsthand encounters. He is a patient teacher and will equip us for every good work, as we trust and obey.
May the words of Hebrews 13:20-21 revive our hearts, renew our minds, and wash over our souls as we plant our feet on the shores of God’s word, dive into its vastness, and behold how great and near the Lord our God really is. “Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.”