I’m on the Winning Team

So they went over to him and asked:

  • Who brought you here?
  • What are you doing in this place?
  • What is keeping you here?” (Judges 18:3, HCSB).

It is often therapeutic, directive, and beneficial to pause to reflect for a moment concerning the why behind what we do. This lesson caused me to do just that.


There are at least seven reasons why I became a minister. This blog covers five of the reasons. A previous blog covered another two.

  1. I was indebted to One that gave all for me. How could I withhold or do anything less than my best (1 Corinthians 1:14-16).
  2. I recognized I was a servant. Not just to anything or anybody. I became a servant of this gospel (Acts 2:38 salvation message).
    1. “I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God’s grace given me through the working on his power” (Ephesians 3:7, NIV).
  3. I wanted to be on the winning team. Everybody does. Remember those days when teams would be selected and every fiber of your being was silently calling out, “Pick me! Pick me!” and “Please don’t pick me last.” I hated being chosen last.
    1. We get to be involved in the greatest enterprise on the face of the planet: reaching souls.
    2. I was hand-picked. He saw not what I was but what I could be.
    3. Like someone said, “I’ve looked at the back of the Book and I know who wins.”
    4. We not only envision but we can have an end-vision. The church will be triumphant. See Revelation 5:9; 7:9. People from everywhere will be there in heaven.
    5. We all can be a winner. We have a race to run (it’s specifically designed for us) and we can win.
    6. Our confidence and trust is not in ourselves but in who He is (2 Corinthians 3:4-6).
    7. I am insufficient but God is all-sufficient.
    8. We are laborers together with God (1 Corinthians 3:9). We are on the winning team.
  4. I have the message that changes the hearts of men and impacts the world.
    1. We have the message of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:19).
    2. We have something to say: a message to proclaim.
    3. We aren’t like the runner in the Old Testament, who hastened to the king, but didn’t even have a message.
    4. We persuade men (2 Corinthians 5:11).
    5. We have the keys to the kingdom (Matthew 16:18).
    6. Like a student in the classroom, I have the answer.
    7. Preach the Word (Titus 1:3; 2 Timothy 4:2; Romans 1:16)
    8. Preachers of the gospel have some of the greatest job security in the world. As long as there are lost souls, there will be a market for preachers (Romans 10:13-15).
    9. When He calls, He equips and empowers.
  5. God chose me.
    1. My selection was based on His ability and my availability.
    2. He called me. Yep, He chose me. Recruited. Drafted.
    3. It is humbling to realize that out of over seven billion people on the planet He selected me.
      1. He was thinking about me (Psalms 8:4).
      2. He gives us the desire of our heart(s) because He plants that desire there in the first place (Psalms 37:4).
      3. He enables us to reach our expected end (Jeremiah 29:11).

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Seven Reasons I Became a Minister

So they went over to him and asked:

  • Who brought you here?
  • What are you doing in this place?
  • What is keeping you here?” (Judges 18:3, HCSB).

It is often therapeutic, directive, and beneficial to pause to reflect for a moment concerning the why behind what we do. This lesson caused me to do just that.


There are at least seven reasons why I became a minister. This blog post covers the first two. 


  1. I was qualified. At first glance it appears the basic qualification of a potential minister is being unqualified (1 Corinthians 1:26; 2 Corinthians 12:10). I was FAT enough.
    1. F: faithful; willing to obey (1 Samuel 15:22; 1 Corinthians 4:2). Faithfulness is an old word for “trustworthy” and is required in God’s ministers. 
    2. A: Available (Romans 12:1). I was a willing vessel (2 Corinthians 4:7; 1 Thessalonians 4:4). Our availability is a predictor and prerequisite of our usability.
    3. T: Teachable. A young man recently, “If you had only one word of advice for young ministers, what would it be?” Simple: Be teachable. That is good advice for young, middle-aged, and even elderly ministers alike. We shouldn’t grow out of being teachable. I’m sure being “humble” is a factor or ingredient in being “teachable” (1 Samuel 15:17; Proverbs 15:33; 1 Peter 5:5). 
  2. I couldn’t help it. It was something I had to do. I was addicted. 
    1. Jesus felt that way (John 4:4; 9:4). 
    2. I detest people who use the word “must” in their writing. In editing I often soften it with words like “should” and “could.” Ministry wasn’t something I should do or could do but something I must do. Necessity is laid on me. I must preach (1 Corinthians 9:16). Like Jeremiah of old, there is no way I can hold His word within me (Jeremiah 20:9). It must be let out to a lost world.
    3. I became addicted to preaching and teaching the Word (1 Corinthians 16:15). 
      1. Addiction is the state of being enslaved to something.
      2. It is an unusual great interest in something. 

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Discovering Ministry in the Midst of the Stuff – Part 1

I’m working and writing on the premise that God speaks best through me what He has been speaking in me. God has been prodding me onward and helping me wade through some of the tough stuff in every day ministry.

A missionary associate recently discussed with me an AIMer (short-term missionary) that had arrived on the field. He/she felt bewildered and blameworthy he/she wasn’t doing actual “ministry.” It’s a repetitive regular restlessness among those in kingdom business.

In 1999 I visited one of the executives in his office at World Evangelism Center. I asked if it were possible to do ministry in the midst of his administrative responsibilities. He pointed to a large stack of files and said, “Ministry, every time I want to do ministry, there is all this work staring at me.”

Discovering Ministry (2)

Lest we think this is a phenomenon isolated to World Evangelism Center, or AIMers on the mission field, I wonder how many pastors feel the same way. I recall, after marrying my wife, Linda, receiving a letter from her pastor-Dad. He wondered if he was truly making a difference in the small church he pastored and was close to giving up and throwing in the towel. Thankfully, he faithfully pressed on.

Regardless of the particular aspect of ministry one is involved in, it has its own share of unexciting, undesirable aspects and assignments. It’s inescapable! Sometimes ministry is reduced to a four letter word: “W-O-R-K!” And it is repeated day after day.

“And David said unto his men, Gird ye on every man his sword. And they girded on every man his sword; and David also girded on his sword: and there went up after David about four hundred men; and two hundred abode by the stuff” (I Samuel 25:13).

Notice what a few other translations bring out:

  • Stayed with the supplies (NKJV)
  • Stayed with the equipment
  • Stayed with the baggage (ESV, NASU, NASB)

Admittedly, there are a few things in my ministry and serving the Lord that feel a whole lot like baggage to me. But, every traveler knows the frustrations of arriving at one’s destination and baggage has been delayed or lost. This worsens when one forgets or ignores packing an extra set of clothes in the carryon. Guilty!

As I started to Google those words “staying by the…” here is what popped up.

  • Staying on course
  • Staying in the Word

All involving focus. Staying by the stuff (involves focus). Simple as that or should I state it is as hard as that. Maintaining focus is never easy. It requires deliberate determination.

“No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead” (Philippians 3:13, New Living Translation).