As a staff, we are working our way through the book Start with Why by Simon Sinek. Recently, Frank challenged all of us to think about why we minister and to craft a summary of those thoughts. Here is my three-part “why.”
I am a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ first because I believe certain things. Secondly I minister because I have reasons to believe those things. Finally I am a minister because of the hope I have in Christ Jesus.
I believe in God the Three-in-One. By God’s power the world was created (Gen. 1:1) and exists today (Col. 1:17, 2 Pet. 3:7). I believe that humans were created to glorify God, but instead chose to disobey him (Gen. 3), a disobedience which continues to characterize humans today (Rom. 3:23), and is punishable by death (Rom. 6:23). I believe that Jesus Christ carried out God’s redemption plan for mankind by sacrificing himself for us (Rom 5:8). I believe that he is God, that he rose again from the dead, and that he ascended into heaven (Mt. 28, Acts 1). I believe that Jesus Christ will return (Acts 1:11), and God will judge the living and the dead (Mt. 25). I believe that God is preparing a new heaven and a new earth (Rev. 21:1, 22:17), that he wants to reconcile all people to himself (2 Cor. 5:18, Col. 1:20). Because of what I believe, I minister in Jesus' name.
I affirm those beliefs for the following reasons. Through the entirety of my life I have been taught Biblical truth by family, friends, teachers, and church leaders whom I respect and trust. Their faith supports my own. I also recognize my part in the historical line of God’s people stretching back 2000 years to the dawn of the church, and then beyond that, through the nation of Israel to Noah, Able, and the beginning of creation. On a more personal note, I affirm my belief through the interactions I have had with God. Though I have never heard the audible voice of God, and am unaware of any visionary dreams, I have felt the Holy Spirit’s prompting. I have experienced unmatched peace from submitting to God’s call upon my life after running for some time. Beyond that, I believe because of the life-change I have observed in myself as well as in students and others around me who have come to know Jesus Christ in a salvific manner. Because of these experiences, I minister in Christ’s name.
Finally, there is hope. My belief system with its supporting, somewhat more subjective, reasons gives me hope. I have hope for a future lived forever in God’s presence. I also have hope for now. I have hope that knowing Jesus Christ can radically transform the someone’s life. I have hope that becoming a Christian can connect those who are isolated and alienated in community with others. This community brings life, health, and support. I have hope that becoming a Christian can give purpose to otherwise purposeless lives. Because of this hope, I minister in Jesus' name.
tl;dr version – I believe a set of truths about God, because of my personal experience and education, which gives me hope for the present and the future. Therefore I minister to young adults who desperately need this hope.