Partners in Ministry
"We waste our lives when we do not pray and think and dream and plan and work toward magnifying God in all spheres of life. God created us for this: to live our lives in a way that makes Him look more like the greatness and the beauty and the infinite worth that He really is." ~ John Piper
"Paul said if Christ ain't resurrected we've wasted our lives, Well that implies that our life's built around Jesus being alive. Everyday I'm living tryin' to show the world why, Christ is more than everything you'll ever try." ~ Lecrae
Partners in Ministry
2 Corinthians 8:10-15
10 And in this matter I give my judgment: this benefits you, who a year ago started not only to do this work but also to desire to do it. 11 So now finish doing it as well, so that your readiness in desiring it may be matched by your completing it out of what you have. 12 For if the readiness is there, it is acceptable according to what a person has, not according to what he does not have. 13 For I do not mean that others should be eased and you burdened, but that as a matter of fairness 14 your abundance at the present time should supply their need, so that their abundance may supply your need, that there may be fairness. 15 As it is written, “Whoever gathered much had nothing left over, and whoever gathered little had no lack.” (2 Corinthians 8:10-15, ESV)
"...this benefits you, who a year ago started not only to do this work but also to desire to do it. 11 So now finish doing it as well..."
1. We evangelize the lost
"But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth" (Acts 1:8, ESV)
2. We disciple believers
"19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20, ESV)
3. We serve one another
"For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another." (Galatians 5:13, ESV)
4. We fund the mission
"33 And with great power the apostles were giving their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all. 34 There was not a needy person among them, for as many as were owners of lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold 35 and laid it at the apostles' feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need. 36 Thus Joseph, who was also called by the apostles Barnabas (which means son of encouragement), a Levite, a native of Cyprus, 37 sold a field that belonged to him and brought the money and laid it at the apostles' feet" (Acts 4:33-37, ESV)
"We are more in love with the idea of changing the world, than actually changing the world" ~ Eugene Cho
"Generosity is what keeps the things we own, from owning us" ~ Eugene Cho
Week 3 - Partners in Ministry
The sermon from this Sunday showed us the need to work together and support the church financially. Today, we will study this concept of partnership in the Gospel, while also tying it to the theme of last weeks life group study overflow.
As a group, turn to Ezekiel 36:26.
1. How does this passage relate to what we spoke about last week in our group study...the condition that must precede true biblical overflow?
Now let’s look at two examples from the book of Acts, one example of a synthetic form of service coming from a faux overflow; and another of a true and genuine overflow of service caused by the Holy Spirit in a people with full hearts.
2. Turn to to Acts 2:36-47. What is happening in v36-41 of this passage?
3. Now, look at v42-47. What are some evidences of overflow that we see here in relation to serving the body and partnering in ministry and the Gospel?
4. What do you think it would be like to live, serve, and partner in a community like this?
Now let’s look at an example of faux overflow and service--a facade of partnership in ministry if you will--that took place right in the middle of this very awesome and dynamic community. Turn to and read Acts 4:32-5:11
5. The end of Chapter 4 reiterates that the same things described in ch2 were still happening. But focus on Acts 5:1-11, how do the actions of Ananias and Sapphira undermine the amazing evidences of overflow and partnership in ministry that were occurring in their community?
6. There are two key verses here in chapter 5--they are v3 and v9. As a group, discuss them and how they are contrarian to what we have learned so far about overflow and partnership in ministry.
The passages that we studied today show both the benefits of healthy and vibrant financial partnerships in ministry as well as the dangers of undermining the expectation and biblical precedent of financial partnership in ministry. There are many who behave similar to Ananias and Sapphira today in churches across the country--and it is this behavior that continues to undermine the potential of our vibrant communities of faith. Contributing financially to a partnership, out of the overflow of a full and content heart, strengthens the community on both an individual and corporate level.