Although I am free from all and not anyone’s slave, I have made myself a slave to everyone, in order to win more people. (1 Corinthians 9:19 CSB)
What’s amazing as you read Paul’s words here, is they could’ve just as easily been spoken by Jesus.
Paul understood that the story of Jesus should change the way we minister to people. When we shape what our ministries look like, we should always start by asking, “What does God’s ministry look like?”
God’s ministry is relatable. In order to care for His people, He identifies with them and walks where they’ve walked. He did this throughout the Old Testament, revealing Himself through various cultural means they would understand. The Bible itself is evidence of this, God speaking a language people can understand.
God’s ministry is most evident in the person of Jesus. God became one of us to save us. Though he was free and not anyone’s slave, he made himself a slave to everyone, in order to win more people.
This has huge implications for how we do ministry.
- We should be passionate about Bible translation. We should strive to make the gospel accessible in as many languages as possible, because that’s what we see Jesus doing, the Word becoming a man.
- We should teach and speak in ways people understand. “Church lingo” needs to be carefully thought about. Preachers/teachers need to avoid complicated jargon.
- We should be present and active in our communities. We should go where people are. We should enter every nation, every culture, every coffee shop, every workout complex, every section of the library, not to condemn, but to make friends and serve.
- We should be thinking about ways to share the gospel. If your “gospel presentation” is always the “four spiritual laws” or the “Romans road” or something like that, take more time to think about it. How does the gospel apply to these people uniquely? How can you meet them where they are with the gospel?
- We should be aware of what people in our culture are feeling, and care about what they care about. Even if we eventually disagree with people, we should be empathetic, listen, and seek to understand.
At Christmas, we’re reminded that God relates to us in order to save us. We should look for ways to do the same.