One of the incredible joys of pastoring is to see God’s grace at work in people’s hearts and lives. Early in my ministry I found that God’s grace is more powerful than even my cleverest charm in helping young Christians grow in their relationship with the Lord and Christian service.
I can attempt to motivate people to grow and serve through guilt or manipulation, but encouraging them to grow in grace is a far better approach—for both the Christian and the ministry.
When spiritual leaders follow a grace-based approach to ministry, great things happen, and they are singularly attributable to God’s work in the hearts of men. This is the desire of God—His glory!
What are the results of a grace-based approach to ministry? There are four I would share:
We live separated lives by grace.
“For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world.”—Titus 2:11–12
The greatest way to establish a separated church family is through God’s grace.
We serve God by grace.
“As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.”—1 Peter 4:10
“And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common. And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.”—Acts 4:32–33
God’s grace draws out sincere-hearted service. No church is ever more active or more abundant in service than when God’s grace is at work.
We sacrifice to God by grace.
“Therefore, as ye abound in every thing, in faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love to us, see that ye abound in this grace also.”—2 Corinthians 8:7
Nothing motivates more cheerful, willing surrender and faithful stewardship like God’s grace.
“But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.”—2 Corinthians 9:6–7
We continue in trials by God’s grace.
“And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”—2 Corinthians 12:9
“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”—Hebrews 4:16
The greatest sustaining factor in trials is not our own strength or determination, it is God’s grace.
God’s grace is powerful—trust Him to work in the hearts of His people. As Paul wrote the Corinthian church, “And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work” (2 Corinthians 9:8).