Christ: The Source of Ministry
One of the ailments of modern ministry philosophy is the idea that we do it. To read and listen to much of popular ministry gurus is to get the idea that the gospel ministry is formulaic. In other words, simply say the right thing, provide the right atmosphere, become culturally relevant, and get to know the right people and success is essentially guaranteed. The necessity and sufficiency of Christ is but an afterthought.
However, years ago, Thomas Foxcroft (1697-1769), challenged ministers to remember the source of their ministry. His words, though nearly 300 years old, are just as true today as they were back then:
Note that it is Christ who fits and qualifies ministers for the sacred trust and duty. In Him, it has pleased the Father, should dwell the treasures of wisdom, riches of glory, and the fullness of everlasting strength, to furnish the whole man, both the directive and executive powers; and no man receives anything but what comes down from above, from the Father of Lights, unto whom are owning every good and perfect gift. It is the inspiration of the Almighty that begets understanding, and the unction from the Holy One that gives the spirit of a sound mind. He puts the treasure in these earthen vessels, and lights up the lamps of the sanctuary and keeps them burning. Ministers are stars, shining with light borrowed from the Sun of Righteousness. He sets forth and sets forward the spiritual racer. He spirits and equips the spiritual soldier, provides him with arms and artillery, inspires him with military art and dexterity, gives him martial prowess to speak with the enemy in the gate, girds him with strength unto the battle, and makes his way perfect. It is Christ the Lord who does all these things.