Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.

2 Tim. 4:2

Ministry is the overflow of the Life of God in you. You spend time with Christ, Christ reveals himself afresh. The overflow of that experience is life, that life encourages and blesses others. Ministry is communicating “life information” to others: why he loves, what God does, when he speaks, where he works, and how he transforms. Ministry is sharing with others how God has been faithful in your life and how God will be faithful in theirs. Ministry is encouraging others to trust Christ’s work on the Cross, the Father’s faithful provision, and the Holy Spirit’s consistent guidance.

The message I would bear is Jesus Christ and him crucified and from the consideration of the great things he has done, to recommend and enforce Gospel holiness and Gospel love, and to take as little notice of our fierce contests, controversies and divisions as possible.

My desire is to lift up the banner of the Lord, and to draw the sword of the Spirit not against names, parties and opinions, but against the world, the flesh and the devil; and to invite poor perishing sinners not to espouse a system of my own or any man’s, but to fly to the Lord Jesus, the sure and only city of refuge and the ready, compassionate and all sufficient Saviour of those that trust in him.

John Newton, “Letter to Harry Crooke of Hunslett, Leeds,” cited in Marylynn Rouse, “An Important Turn to My Future Life,” The John Newton Project Prayer Letter (October/November 2008), 1.