Byron Spradlin

Artists In Ministry & Missions

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The 2 Basic Dimensions of Ministry

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Ministry has two basic dimensions—

  1. you dealing with God about people (centered in your daily worship communion with God), and

  2. God dealing with people through you (the assignments you receive from God out of your growing communion with Him) . . . then, your artistic abilities will be a means by which and a context in which God will expect you to function in order to develop contact and relationship with people with whom you are intentionally looking, by faith, to effect and serve for His purposes. That effect, and that sort of service—if it is truly ministry on God’s behalf—will entail a supernatural transaction (energized by God’s Spirit, not by you), and will result both in …

                1. spiritual impact in people’s lives through the ‘service’ you render; and in

                2. people coming to find salvation in Jesus through seeing the Lord more clearly—and hearing Him—through your ministry service, whatever that particular ministry service might be.

Therefore, your artistic ministry will only be fully and biblically developed as you go beyond “the doing of your art”. Your arts ministry will develop a fuller biblical design as you increasingly develop ways wherein and around which you will be …

            1. identifying and developing people you can mentor towards their own growth in Jesus; and …

            2. resourcing the local and regional church (equipping the saints—Eph. 4:11-12) out of the specialized fruit-bearing capacities you have progressively demonstrated in your past ministry track record.

Besides simply your abilities to perform an artistic expression or endeavor—if you are really focused on ministry, and growing in more developed ministry—you will be developing specialized areas of biblically based resourcing around at least four (4) areas :

  1. spiritual formation issues,

  2. biblical ministry issues (related to theology and strategies of the arts in ministry),

  3. artistic skill areas, and

  4. technical aspects specialized and related to arts ministry strategy.

When your focus is set on ministry, when your ministry is articulated in Kingdom terms (and not in musical or artistic media terms), your artistic orientations become the environment in which you premeditatedly intend to connect with people about the realities of God—and when you are faithing that He, the Lord, will graciously and supernaturally move through you—then it will be clear . . . to you and to others . . . that you have truly entered into the realm of ministry through the arts.

Anything else, and you may end up simply being yet another clanging cymbal

Byron


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A Blueprint for Itinerant (Traveling) Ministries

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A Blueprint For Itinerant [Traveling] Ministries

Paul lays out … in Acts 14: 21-28 … for anyone who has a “traveling” ministry, a ministry with an itinerary outside one’s local congregation, that is very helpful.

Note the following seven (7) components in Paul’s Outline for traveling ministries:

        1. Connect … with people [implied]

        2. Declare … God’s reality and His accessibility through Jesus

        3. Win … people to Christ as you can

        4. Strengthen … the believers

        5. Give Permission … to potential ministry initiators [In Paul’s case he was formally appointing congregational leaders. You most likely will not do that. But you CAN pray for and encourage those who seem to be ready for ministry to get on with that ministry.]

        6. Repeat the process … of doing the above five actions in other places

        7. Report back … to your home church and other churches that know you, love you and are supporting you


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6 Foundation Stones of Ministry

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Six habits, that if you do them, you WILL BE a minister. They are six basic elements of bottom-line ministry.

No matter what religious title or position you hold, or don’t hold, there are only six things that make you a MINISTER. If you are regularly doing these five things you ARE a minister (cf. 1 Pet 2:4-5, 9-10). If you ARE NOT regularly doing these six things—no matter what religious title or position you hold—you ARE NOT being a minister.

      1. You passionately pursue intimate companionship with Jesus throughout every day
        John 15:15

        Ex 33:11

      2. You regularly expect God to move supernaturally.
        Romans 1:16,19; 1 Corinthians 4:19

      3. You pray for and with people (expecting #2).
        1 Thessalonians 5:16; Philippians 4:6,71 John 5:14
        Romans 8:26; Ephesians 1:17-19; Ephesians 6:18;
        1 Timothy 2:1-4; Philemon 1:6; James 5:13-16

      4. You regularly care for people under assignment from Jesus.
        James 1:27; Galatians 5:13-14; Ephesians 4:7,11-12
        1 Corinthians 12:5-7; 1 Timothy 3:8-13

      5. You regularly guide people for help into truths of God’s Word, the Bible.
        2 Timothy 3:16,17; Hebrews 4:12

      6. You can . . . and regularly do share your faith with people… whether or not you have the spiritual gift of evangelism
        1 Corinthians 15:3-4; Acts 1:8; Acts 5:5-8, 34-38;
        1 Timothy 2:1-4; Revelation 14:6


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Business, Occupation, & Ministry. Do you know the difference? Part 3

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Ministry: What is it?

To clearly understand the essence of MINISTRY from the Bible’s perspective, you must evaluate the biblical realities of ministry apart from business, occupation or how money is made. Clarity on ‘what ministry really is’ is essential before you can make good decisions on either, pursuing that ministry, and at the same time, dealing with the issues of how God chooses to finance you (occupation)

  1. What is it?

    The term ministry, in the Bible, maintains a rather consistent meaning related to SERVING; that is, so minister is to serve. So in simple terms, TO MINISTER means…To serve God & Others on God’s Behalf. Being a conduit, a Sprinkler Pipe, Through whom God Encounters Others

At the heart of ministry is one’s service to God out of real encounter with God—Rm. 12:1

    1. In the Old Testament ministry means:

      1. as a verb—to serve or to officiate;

      2. as a noun—to be a servant, an assistant, an aide, a right-hand person.

    2. In the New Testament ministry means:

      1. as a verb—to serve, attend or carry out duties.

      2. as a noun—to be a servant, attendant, waiter, public officer, and such.

  1. Ministry Definition

Ministry has only two Dimensions:

MINISTRY is …Dealing with God about people & Dealing with people about God

When you stop and think especially of the New Testament explanation of ministry you will notice that the biblical conception of ministry is quite simple.

The two dimensions of ministry are . . .

1. You dealing with God about PeopleUp Reach

&

2. God dealing with People through youOutreach

Note: Up Reach always precedes Outreach

Note how we arrive at the above definition:

    1. In the O.T. God designated some as priests—the tribe of Levites—and to those priests He gave three responsibilities.

Deut. 10:8 says

At that time the LORD set apart the tribe of Levi [1] to carry the ark of the covenant of the LORD, [2] to stand before the LORD to minister and [3] to pronounce blessings in his name, as they still do today. (NIV)

      1. to carry the ark [the visible location of the invisible God];

      2. to stand before the LORD to minister

-Which direction is that? Up or Out? UP!!!!

      1. to pronounce blessings in His name

-Which direction is that? Up or Out? OUT!!!

    1. In the NT, God expands the role of priest—still assuming they carry out the same functions, only in their fullest sense through what Christ has accomplished. The NT designates The Believer, every believer, says 1 Peter 2:9, as a Priest—an agent God Himself has set aside to serve in ministry TO Him and FOR Him in the lives of others.

Every Believer, a Priest:

1 Peter 2:9 says, “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

Rev 1:4-6 says “(v.4) Grace and peace to you . . . (v.5) from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, (v.6) and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father—to him be glory and power forever and ever! Amen. (NIV)

Every Believer, an Ark-Bearer

All Believers

1 Corinthians 3: 16

Every Believer

1 Corinthians 6:19

Every Believer, a minister unto God—of worship

Ministry = first, Up Reach through worship

Worship, e.g. in John 4: 23 proskuneo (pros-koo-neh’-o) (proskuneo: lit. to kiss toward); [Strong’s reference # 4352]

from 4314 and a probable derivative of 2965 (meaning to kiss, like a dog licking his master’s hand); to fawn or crouch to, i.e. (literally or figuratively) prostrate oneself in homage (do reverence to, adore) KJV– worship.

Every Believer, an agent bringing God’s blessing to others [perhaps the blessing of salvation, healing, enlightenment of His Word, help, service, encouragement, etc.]

Ministry = second, Out Reach through worship-sourced serving of God by being the instrument of His blessing.

e.g. Romans 12:1

Outreach [Worshipful Service] e.g. Romans 12:1
(latruo: lit. understandable worship

Worship in Romans 12:1 latreia (lat-ri’-ah); [Strong’s reference #2999] from 3000; ministration or God, i.e. worship: KJV– (divine) service. 3000 latreuo (lat-ryoo’-o);

from latris (a hired menial); to minister (to God), i.e. render, religious homage: KJV– serve, do the service, worship (-per).

Note then: Ministry is a dimension of Worship-sourced Service on God’s behalf … flowing out of worship-based encounter with God.

So, one could say that worship then is …

God Dealing with People through You

Summary: According to Deut. 10:8 Priests were . . .

  • the Bearers of God’s presence (Ark Bearers)

  • the Worship Enablers (engaged in worshiping and helping others to worship)

  • he Agents through whom He ministered His Blessings

Note then: Ministry is You Dealing with God—Up Reach—about

  • Himself

  • yourself

  • others

  • Ministry is God Dealing with People through You—Out Reach—about

    • God

    • His Word working in them

    • His Spirit working in them

    • His salvation

    • His healing

    • His help

    • His discipline

    • His maturing


Next Time: 6 Foundation Stones of Ministry

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Business, Occupation, & Ministry. Do you know the difference? Part 2

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Occupation: What is it?

1. Occupation Defined:

  • How you make your living
  • How you gain provision to live

2. Occupation Varies:

  • You may make your living several ways at the same time
  • You may work several jobs at the same time

3. God is the provider

  • GOD supplies your PROVISION
  • Deut. 8:18

4. Market-place Occupation is good because . . .

  • God expects you to work at something to earn provision
    2 Thessalonians 3:10
  • God is the provider of all wealth
    Deut 8:18 “It is God who is the creator of all wealth

-Your provision from a ‘market place occupation’ is a good thing because it comes from God [note the context of ‘Israel, and how God provided for them in the wilderness]

5. God expects everyone to have at least one occupation

  • 2 Thessalonians 3:10

6. In a fallen world, most often your occupation will NOT be your God-given CALLING–but you will always be & do your CALLING in the midst of your occupation if you are an integrated Christian and a balanced human being.

  • Paul’s example: 1 Cor. 9 & 2 Thess. 3

7. The biblical norm for carrying out ministry is being bi-vocational . . .

  • Earn your money in the market place and do your calling all around it: again note Paul. 1 Cor. 9 & 2 Thess. 3

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