This is part one of a three-part curriculum that helps pastors, ministry leaders and church workers grow in their participation in ministry with Jesus.
Participating in ministry with Jesus has three key aspects: the minister's spiritual formation (unpacked below), their sharing in Jesus' disciplemaking strategy (click here), and their ministry competency (click here).
A minister's spiritual formation is advanced as they, through the Holy Spirit, share in Jesus' righteousness, peace and joy (Rom.14:17). This sharing is enhanced by nurturing environments where the minister is helped by mentors to experience Jesus' transforming love and life. Such environments are characterized by what we call the ministry foundations, with each corresponding to one of Jesus' character attributes. That correspondence is shown in the table below (with links that jump to the text that follows).
|Ministry Foundations||Character Attributes|
GOD'S LOVE → Grace-based
As a developing minister experiences an atmosphere that is expressive of God’s love, they increasingly relate to God on the basis of his grace (acceptance and provision) in Christ. This produces within them a heart for and commitment to relationships based in grace rather than in human performance or a desire for personal power or gain.
- Book: The Relational Pastor by Andrew Root
- Book: Relational Christianity by Steve Meeks
- Book: Holiness by Grace by Bryan Chapell
GOD'S PERSON → Christ-centered
As a developing minister experiences joy and awe in knowing God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, they learn to trust in and live for God through loving allegiance to Christ their Lord.
- Book: Ministry in the Image of God by Stephen Seamands
- Book: A Passion for Christ (the vision that ignites ministry) by Thomas F. Torrance, James B. Torrance and David W. Torrance
- Book: The Call by Os Guinness
GOD'S STORY → Word-Directed
As a developing minister is immersed in God’s story of creation and redemption, conveyed through the written word (the Bible), they will, through the Spirit’s illumination, increasingly have their hearts and minds molded by and conformed to the living Word, Jesus Christ.
- Book: God's Big Picture: Tracing the story line of the Bible by Vaughan Roberts
- E-book: Scripture God's Gift by Gary Deddo
GOD'S WILL → Spirit-formed
As a developing minister experiences dependence on God, they increasingly embrace, through the spiritual disciplines, the transforming presence of the Holy Spirit. Out of this spiritual formation flows whole-life stewardship that bears the fruit of the Spirit rather than the works of the flesh.
- ACCM course: Spiritual Formation
- Book: The Crucifixion of Ministry by Andrew Purves
- Book: Celebration of Discipline: the path to spiritual growth by Richard Foster
- Book: Renovation of the Heart: putting on the character of Christ by Dallas Willard
GOD'S PEOPLE → Fellowship-building
As a developing minister experiences hope-filled and expectant vision for ministry, they develop a deep and abiding sense of calling to active participation in the local church. This participation emphasizes mutually accountable relationships through the collaboration of team ministry. This approach to ministry reflects Christ-like concern for the well-being and involvement of the minister's spouse and children.
- Book: Worship, Community and the Triune God of Grace by James B. Torrance
- Book: The Body by Charles Colson
GOD'S PURPOSE → Disciple-making
As developing ministers encounter commitment to the Great Commission with a Great Commandment heart, they increasingly are emboldened to reach out to build redemptive relationships, through which disciples who make disciples are multiplied.
- Book: The Call to Discipleship by Karl Barth
- See Ministry Strategy
- The video below (from GCI Church Mulitiplication Ministries) addresses the shifts in thinking that churches need to experience in order to share faithfully in what Jesus is doing through the Spirit to fulfill the Father's mission to the world.