The Formula for a Thriving Ministry
“Nevertheless we made our prayer unto our God, and set a watch against them day and night, because of them.”
The rebuilding of the wall around Jerusalem is a great model for anyone to follow who wants to build a great work for God. Nehemiah was no one special, but he understood that His God was special and the work before him was great. It was the need of his country that moved him to leave everything to go rebuild a wall that had been left in rubbish because of sin. When you study Nehemiah’s ministry, you see six things that he did that caused the work to thrive. If you want your ministry to be a thriving ministry, you are going to have to do the same things that Nehemiah did to make your ministry a thriving ministry.
Prayer is the first thing that must be done to have a thriving ministry. Nehemiah 1:4 says, “And it came to pass, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned certain days, and fasted, and prayed before the God of heaven,” No work will do anything without prayer. A work started without prayer is a work that is bound for failure. You can either do God’s work alone, or you can do it with God, and my suggestion is to do it with God because your work will crumble without Him.
Planning is the second thing that must be done to have a thriving ministry. Nehemiah walked around the torn down walls and planned what to do, and you must have a time of planning so that you know what you are going to do. A work that has no prayer and planning is a work that is bound for failure. Don’t blame God for your failed work when the true cause is a lack of planning and prayer.
Work is the third thing that must be done to have a thriving ministry. You can plan and pray for the LORD to work, but nothing will happen until you get busy and work in the work of the LORD. Many people look for an easy way to have a thriving ministry, but there are no substitutes for work. Personality, talent and intellect will only take you so far in the LORD’s work, but ultimately it is going to take planning, work and prayer.
Fourth, you are going to have to fight for the faith to have a thriving ministry. Nehemiah 4:16 says, “…half of my servants wrought in the work, and the other half of them held both the spears…” The Devil is not going to like the work that you are doing for the LORD, and he is going to use people to fight against you. My friend, you cannot have a thriving ministry with God’s hand upon it without having to fight battles for the faith. The LORD’s work is not a passive work, but it is a work where the faith found in the Scriptures is constantly under attack. Compromise will soon set into your ministry if you are not willing to fight for the faith.
Fifth, you must build to have a thriving ministry. There must be time dedicated to building people if you want your ministry to grow. You will always find that the ministries that God used in the past were ministries where the people were built through the preaching of His Word. Never trivialize the importance of preaching and its ability to build believers.
Sixth, to have a thriving ministry you must pray again. You must be careful that you don’t ever lose the importance of prayer in your ministry. Don’t get so busy in the work, labor and battle that you don’t stop to pray again. It is prayer that started God’s hand working through you, and it will be prayer that will keep His hand upon you.