1 Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ for the faith of God’s elect and the knowledge of the truth that leads to godliness— 2 a faith and knowledge resting on the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time, 3 and at his appointed season he brought his word to light through the preaching entrusted to me by the command of God our Savior, 4 To Titus, my true son in our common faith: Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior. (Titus 1:1-4)
There is a great temptation in our churches today to try to be pragmatic in order to be more successful. Well, if success is our goal, then it makes sense to try as many methods and strategies as possible until we can arrive at the best approach. However, that can be a dangerous road. It can lead to all sorts of compromises. What we need to do is ask a simple question: What does it take to have a true God-honoring, Christ-centered ministry? The answer is again simple: True Christian ministry is focused on Gospel clarity and life integrity.
Paul had a clear understanding of his calling. He was called to be a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ. As a servant, he knows to whom he is ultimately accountable — God. As an apostle, he knows that he is sent with authority to do something specific: to proclaim the true Gospel, which is no other than the good news about Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world. This sense of calling is further clarified in Paul’s mind. The Gospel is not meant to simply inform people about the saving grace that comes through faith in Jesus Christ. Faith in Jesus results in true godliness. In other words, Gospel clarity should result in life integrity.
The success of any ministry does not depend on gimmicks. It depends solely on our faithfulness to our calling. We are servants of God and we are sent to the world by Jesus Christ to proclaim the true Gospel, a Gospel that ultimately results in changed lives. This is our calling and our responsibility, and our faithfulness to these defines our true success in the eyes of God.
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