Now Strategy, Scripture and Skills abide, these three; but the greatest of these is…

16 Aug

Ministering full-time comes with its fair share of struggles.  Each struggle is an opportunity to see God work, but how He works in each one is different.  And as I spend more time thinking about my past experiences working with high school and college students, in the contexts of the local church and the college campus, I realize just how important these three words are: Strategy, Scripture and Skills.

The more I think about it, when it comes to struggles we have as ministers of the Gospel, I believe the solution falls into one of these categories.  By the grace of God, He makes it apparent to us that we need to change our strategy.  Maybe it becomes clear that we need more training in a certain area to hone our skills.  Or, perhaps, we merely need to re-examine and devote ourselves to listening to the Lord through His Word and see it impact both our strategy and our skills.

So in seeking to answer the question as to which is the greatest, I must admit that I am unable to answer that question with a single one.  I believe the answer lies in having a balance of each.  Scripture is God’s very own word to us, His revelation of Himself and His ways, but if one does not have a strategy to implement His Word in a given ministry, or the God-given and Holy Spirit empowered skills to do so, the Scriptures become of little value and their impact on the lives of others is minimized.  Likewise, a strategy that is uninformed by the Bible or put into practice by those gifted with the necessary gifts/talents becomes merely a good idea.  And one with God-given talents is merely potential if not transformed by God’s Word and driven by a plan of how to impact those around him/her.  We need all three: Strategy, Scripture and Skill.

When struggles arise, I believe God is using that as an opportunity to drive us to one of these three.  As I prepare to join a team of people reaching out, partnering with and advocating for Latino students in Los Angeles, I cannot help but think of my lack of experience in cross-cultural ministry.  I think of how quickly I could become unmotivated and disheartened if our strategy is not working on campus.  When this happens, I need only to turn to Scripture to see God’s desire for all peoples to know Him, for Israel to be a light to the nations and a holy priesthood, and the cries of the oppressed for justice to remind myself of why I am a part of Destino.  And when I feel as though I am detached from students and uninvolved, I need only turn to our strategy and see how I can step out in faith to fulfill a part of it.  And when I feel as though I am unable to do what God calls us to do in His Word, and have no way of implementing the strategy, I need only remember the grace of God in gifting me with certain talents/skills which He personally chose for me to walk in the good works He has called me to do.

Strategy, Scripture and Skills.  Which one is strongest?  Which one is weakest?  And which one is God pointing you towards?

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