No one would question the diligence of the Apostle Paul. He labored with faithful tenacity and with loving diligence.
When Paul wrote his final letter to Timothy, he included a request for Timothy to come to him. Notice his wording: “Do thy diligence to come shortly unto me” (2 Timothy 4:9). Paul didn’t say, “Come if you get a chance.” He asked Timothy to invest focused effort—diligence—in coming.
It is a tragedy to me how much ministry is done without diligence. When we become haphazard in our attitude toward the work of the Lord, we reveal our lack of self-discipline. Christ called us to put our hand “to the plough” (Luke 9:62), not to simply walk the furrows.
When your hand is to the plow…
1. You’ll be tenacious in your walk with God.
O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is;—Psalm 63:1
Your personal walk with God really is the foundation for every other aspect of your work in the ministry. Let your walk with God deteriorate through neglect, and the visible aspects of your ministry will eventually crumble.
Be aggressive in maintaining your walk with God. Open yourself to accountability with a godly Christian, and share with one another truths God is teaching you in your personal devotions. Make sure nothing is getting in the way of you daily spending time seeking God’s face through His Word and interceding for others in prayer.
If you lack diligence in your walk with God, your life will become barren and your ministry fruitless.
2. You’ll be persistent in your witness.
But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.—2 Corinthians 9:6
Without the Holy Spirit’s power, our witness is fruitless. But our witness will also be fruitless if we don’t witness! Like the farmer who has to plant in order to reap, so we have to share the gospel with the lost to see souls saved.
Diligence in soulwinning involves proactively talking to unsaved people about the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ for their sins. It involves reaching out to neighbors, carrying gospel tracts, and scheduling time for personal soulwinning. If we don’t sow, we won’t reap.
3. You’ll be faithful in your handling of details.
And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;_ Colossians 3:23
The work of the ministry is not all vision casting and long-term planning. It is diligence in details today. To ignore details or to be sloppy on following through is laziness. To have an “I’ll get around to it” attitude is to devalue the work of the Lord.
Project management systems come and go. A diligent heart will always get the job done because diligence is not a method but a character trait.
If God has given you the opportunity to serve in ministry, “do thy diligence” to do it!