Our attitude to ministry is very important. Let us remember that all of us should be involved in Christian ministry. Let us learn then some lessons from John the Baptist in John 3:25-30 as regards to our attitude to ministry.
- The Passing on of Ministry: In vv25-26 John’s disciples seem to be somewhat perplexed about the new leader who had arrived by the name of Jesus. There seems to be a hint of them wanting to protect their master from being over-shadowed by the new teacher. John had no such qualms. He knew that he had been placed in a certain position for a certain time and it was necessary for one to come and supersede him. This is a general lesson for all of us in ministry, we should, in a sense, all be training up the next generation so that they would be our replacements. King Saul in the Old Testament was transfixed with himself and his own position. He hated the thought of David coming to take his throne and therefore sought to be rid of him. This should never be us. We should be delighted when those arise to replace us.
- The Clarity of Ministry. John knew exactly what his call was. There was no arrogance or false humility with him. He acknowledges in v28 that he was not the Christ, but was sent to bear witness of him. Again in John 1:22-27 he similarly asserts who he was and what his job was. Likewise as servants of the Lord we should know our calling and get on and fulfil it.
- The People of Ministry. Christian ministry involves serving people. It involves doing good to others. John knew he was not the bridegroom. He therefore knew that the bride did not belong to him. The bride belongs to the bridegroom and He is Christ. In our dealings with the people of God we should always remember this. We should be careful of using phrases like “my people” and “my church”. The people of God are the Lords and we should never forget that.
- The Joy of Ministry. John says that his joy is found when he hears the bridegroom’s voice. I take it that this means that when the voice is heard He is coming to His bride. The delight of the best man is found when the bridegroom comes and is present with the bride. That is what his job is about. He is to make sure that the bridegroom and the bride are together. So should every servant of God have this delight. When Christ is known to be among His people he is delighted.
- The Focus of Ministry. Always our desire is that the Lord Jesus increases and we fade away. As the Lord says in Jeremiah 45:5a Should you then seek great things for yourself? Do not seek them. Rather we should be seeking the elevating of our Lord Jesus. So John would want himself to fade into the background and the Lord Jesus to be elevated. And that is what we should want.
Let us be careful how we regard our service for the Lord. The glory should all be for the Lord and not for us.