The field of religion and spirituality incorporates several areas of service. These areas are generally referred to as a ministry. A service from a ministry is practiced with a faith-based root and not necessarily limited to a temple nor its congregation; it may be an extension thereof or be an independent entity within society. One such ministry is a personal ministry.
Within the view of Christianity, a personal ministry may be informally defined as, but not limited to, an area of ministry in which a service is practiced by a believer who is gifted by God the Father and holds a personal spiritual conviction for serving in it. The believer may or may not hold a minister's title or education from a religious or spiritual institution, yet they may have obtained one by other means. Although a believer may never be perfect in their walk with Christ Jesus, it is their positive response to God's calling to serve through this ministry that escorts them into the position of a minister within a personal ministry. However, they must keep in mind that they are God's steward of the ministry, and not the owner thereof.
In a personal ministry, a minister works primarily with the gifts and abilities (e.g. natural talents and/or spiritual gifts) God the Father has given them and enhanced for service through the Holy Spirit. Additionally, a minister must hold a personal spiritual conviction for carrying out God's work. Their heart must hold a conviction rooted in Christ Jesus, the scriptures, and the Holy Spirit. A personal ministry is not limited to one person. It may be extended to a couple, family, or close friends whom all share a common call and conviction to fulfill God's work within the personal ministry. As with all ministries, a minister is never perfect in their walk with Christ Jesus, but it is the submission of their will to God that sets them apart as candidates to become a minister. By evaluating the selected candidates, God chooses the one that best meets the qualifications for the personal ministry.
However, in a personal ministry, a minister may or may not hold a minister's title (e.g. ordained minister, reverend, pastor, bishop, elder, or deacon). In most cases, this is because the minister is not necessarily practicing a service in relation to a particular congregation or denomination. Hence, the traditional ministerial titles may not be applicable to them. However, the minister may be addressed with the title of a.) Brother or Sister, in regards to the Body of Christ, b.) Mr., Miss, Mrs. or Ms., in regards to society, and/or c.) the pronouns of Sir or Ma'am, in regards to their authority. In essence, a title is usually used in order to show respect to the believer who is in the position of a minister and practicing the work thereof.
Additionally, a minister may have not been educated at a religious or spiritual institution, but they may have obtained an education and training by other means. For instance, a minister may have done an individual in-depth study of the scriptures and participated in a small group Bible study. They may have also enrolled in and completed courses through correspondence or over the internet from an organization or association. Furthermore, a minister may have attended or participated in seminars or conferences, as well as both studied and fulfilled the requirements of a program towards a certificate, diploma, or certification in a specific area of ministry or field of Biblical study. In addition, the minister has worked in partnership with other believers in an area of ministry and proven themselves to be of good report with regards to Biblical standards and fulfilling God's work.
A personal ministry may be exercised within a congregation or within society; such as in a home, cafe, or community center. The ministry itself may have not been created by a congregation, but it can arise out of a minister's personal spiritual calling to meet a specific need. Furthermore, the area of ministry does not have to be limited to such things as reading or studying the Bible, gathering for worship, or praying. The area of ministry may involve helping others through household or auto repairs, cooking for elderly people, or simply spending quality time in fellowship with a fellow believer. In essence, whatever the function of a ministry may be, it must be practiced with roots within Christ Jesus, the scriptures, and obedience to the leading of the Holy Spirit. Anything that lays outside of these three is nothing more than a humanistic program.
The minister must have been saved by the blood of the Lamb, Christ Jesus. They must have not only accepted Christ Jesus as their Savior from the bondage of sin, but also as their Lord. It was the work of Christ Jesus that redeemed the minister from the bondage of sin as slaves to that of bond-servants who are co-heirs with Him but also now adopted children of God the Father.
The minister should have been baptized in water and in the Holy Spirit, with a few exceptions. Although water baptism is not a requisite for being saved, it is an ordinance for being a part of the Body of Christ. Regarding the minister, it is their public proclamation that they are now leaving behind the life of sin they once held outside of Christ Jesus. Yet they are now proclaiming a dedication towards living a new life in Christ Jesus through the help of the Holy Spirit. In addition, the minister should be or concurrently seeking the baptism in the Holy Spirit. Although it is not a requisite for being saved, it is a promise for all believers. Furthermore, it is the baptism in the Holy Spirit that provides the anointing and empowerment to serve others. It is not out of a believer's own strength and efforts that they may serve people, but out of the strength provided by Christ Jesus and empowerment from the Holy Spirit. Consequently, the baptism in the Holy Spirit also helps to affirm the minister's calling, as well as the maintenance of a Christ-like and Godly character that may be witnessed by all.
Minister's Personal and Public Testimony.
The minister holds a personal testimony of how they came to be saved by Christ Jesus. The testimony is not limited to the one encounter but it also testifies of the transformation in the change of character and way of life that proceeded it. In addition, the minister holds a public testimony that consists of witnesses that surround their life and can affirm the transformation that has occurred as well as the believer's continual walk with Christ Jesus. In essence, it is necessary to maintain an intimate and active relationship with Christ Jesus in order to maintain a healthy personal and public testimony. Furthermore, the extent to which this is done will be a reflection of the minister's character and way of life in Christ Jesus.
Minister's Relationship with Christ Jesus.
The minister must continually maintain an intimate and active relationship with Christ Jesus. They must strive to pursue Him through time in prayer, reading and studying the scriptures, as well as obeying the leading of the Holy Spirit. Furthermore, the minister must be able to share with others that which Christ Jesus instructs them to do so. Although the relationship with Christ Jesus is in part a vertical one. It is the horizontal expression of His love through the minister the fulfills His work. Consequently, the opportunities that are presented by God to a minister to people are dependent upon the extent that they relate to Him.
Minister's Relationship with Believers.
The minister must strive to maintain a healthy relationship with believers. They must strive to work in partnership with the Holy Spirit when serving them. There are times when doing so will not be an easy task. Yet, a minister must strive to serve that person to the extent that the Holy Spirit instills in them to do so. It is also important for the minister to maintain a healthy relationship with believers with whom they share a partnership in God's work. God never intended for a believer to work solely as an individual but also as a member of the Body of Christ. In addition, a minister should maintain a healthy relationship with believers from whom they may seek faith-based counsel and trust as a confidant. It is through a faith-based counsel that a minister will come to break through times and circumstances of great challenge, but also receive correction and redirection in times of failure. Furthermore, it is through a faith-based counsel that a minister may also receive restoration with Christ Jesus and continue to be of service to others.
Minister's Relationship with Non-Believers.
The minister must maintain boundaries with the people they serve, especially if they are non-believers. A minister of Christ Jesus is called to be of service to all within the world. However, they are also expected to guard themselves against becoming of the world. Through Christ Jesus, a believer, especially a minister, has been called out to be separate unto sanctification; to be holy as God the Father is holy. With such a high standard, a minister is called to a higher extent of accountability as a bond-servant of Christ Jesus and an example to both believers and non-believers. This is especially important in cases where a person (once a believer) has chosen to walk away from all things of God. Although they have received counsel from a minister and other believers, they have chosen to live a life outside of Christ Jesus. By God's standards, this person is now a non-believer and must be related to as such.
Minister's and Ministry's Standards.
A minister has to strive to serve in their ministry by Biblical standards. For many believers, this standard is a higher calling than the principles of personal morals, family values, church ordinances, business ethics, and both government statues and laws. The work of a minister is higher than all of these principles because their ministry work should be carried out through the leading of the Holy Spirit in obedience to God the Father. Biblical standards cannot be carried out by a minister's own physical, mental, or emotional capacity. They can only be carried out through a capacity that is in relation to God. When Biblical standards are willfully compromised, both the minister and ministry have not only failed the recipients of the personal ministry but also God the Father. It does not matter if the personal ministry is either within a congregation or within society, the ministry standard should always surpass all principalities that are subject to the authority of Biblical standards.
In summary, a personal ministry is a ministry that is practiced and fulfilled by a believer (minister) who has accepted God's call to meet a specific need in accordance to the leading of the Holy Spirit in obedience to God the Father. The work may be within a congregation, but typically it is within society. A personal ministry entails work that is greatly dependent upon the minister's vertical relationship with Christ Jesus and their horizontal relationship with both believers and non-believers. Finally, a personal ministry entails hard work that can only be fulfilled by the strength of Christ Jesus and the empowerment of the Holy Spirit for its greatest impact.
Let Us Pray. God you who are great and grand, I want to thank you for reminding me of the core essence of what it means to carry out a personal ministry. However, if there are any areas within my life that are in need of restoration, let us address them together so that I may continue to present Your work with great impact within the personal ministry you have called me to serve. For since I accepted you as my Savior and Lord, I have not only become Your disciple, but also Your ambassador and a part of Your royal priesthood. In Christ Jesus name I pray, Amen.
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R. A. Gómez