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Ministry is the pathway to maturity, not the other way around

Karen Stevens

Last week I spoke about a Bible study I’m doing called “Growing Up”.  I’m on chapter two and I am finding everything that the author is writing, I agree with.  

I was saved at a very young age but turn my back on God during my late teens.  

After a very long time of rebellion and strife, I came back to God around the time I met my husband.  

I had a conversation with my Future Mother-In-Law, a United Pentecostal Preachers wife, which I did not know she was going to be my Mother-In-Law at the time.  

She was such a loving lady, she never passed judgment on me even though when I first met my husband, I was not living for the Lord, and neither was he.  She knew some of my sins but never said a word.  

When I ask her with tears in my eyes about my fate, she replied: “Karen, don’t worry about any of that, God will take care of you.”  “Just keep pushing forward.”  

These were the words I needed to hear because I am a person that beats myself up continually.  

At that time, I needed someone Godly to say I was ok.  

I’m sure God gives Disciples different words for different people to help them in their growth process at different times, but if we are to be Disciples, how do we know what to say at the right time?  

Chapter 2 of the Bible study is telling you why it is so important to be a Disciple, not just a Christian and there is a difference.  

Christians seem to think the Leadership of the Church should be mentoring the congregation, which is true to some degree, but even the Twelve could not mentor the 3,000 that got saved under Paul’s preaching.  

So, don’t expect your church leaders to do it all either.  

In Ephesians 4:11-13 (paraphrasing) He gave all of us, who want it, the equipment to obtain the maturity to complete the work of the Ministry.  

When I first read this, I thought to myself “I really don’t mentor any one person, so how can I call myself a Disciple?”  

I prayed about it and made a list of all the things I do or have done in the last year, that would be considered for furthering the Gospel.  

I pushed to get 11 items.  Not all these 11 items were a one-time-only thing.  Many are on-going, week to week or month to month.  

Some were one time only and may seem small, but God told me they were necessary for the person that received them.  

There is a quote in the book that states – “Ministry is the pathway to maturity, not the other way around.” 

In other words, you can’t wait till your mature in the Lord, or until you think you know all the answers to start Discipleship.  

The time is now. 

Jump in with both feet!  

Trying to help people is never a bad thing even if you make mistakes along the way.  And that was Jesus’s purpose; to help people and lead them in the right direction of God.  

That’s what Discipleship is all about.

 

 

  

Karen Y. Stevens is the founder of Orange County Christian Writers Guild