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Part One

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Part One: The Meaning of Ministry
How are you preparing for ministry?
As I am already currently involved in the ministry, I will continue to prepare for my calling into the ministry in several ways:
• Through constant prayer and boldly praying to God, asking Him for spiritual guidance and for continued maturity and spiritual growth.
• Through continuing to further my spiritual education both formally and informally. Establishing a structured personal study time but also through formal and more advanced education and knowledge in the pursuit of my Theology degree.
• Through continuous mentoring and tutelage from my spirit filled Pastor.

How will you continue to grow spiritually as you enter ministry? This must be specific and measurable. As the day to day of ministry becomes more involved, how will you stay faithful to time alone with God? What will your time alone with God look like? What are potential pitfalls for you as you grow in ministry?
Since I have been called into the ministry to preach and teach the gospel and deliver God’s
Word of Truth, the Lord has been preparing me for ministry. As I reflect back over the past several years of my life which includes two major relocations, the Lord has blessed me to with the opportunity to grow closer to Him with each move. When I relocated from Houston, TX to San Antonio, TX, the Lord allowed me to join a church with a strong Christian Education program as well as a strong Outreach Ministry. The leadership and members of this church were spirit filled, compassionate, loving people. They welcomed me with open arms. This further motivated me to want to do more for Christ. My Pastor (Reverend Allen Ford) also noticed my passion and encouraged me to keep striving for Christ. I accomplished this by going to Bible Study, Sunday Service and serving in several ministries (Ushers Ministry, Men’s Ministry and Outreach Ministry). My time in San Antonio definitely served as a foundation for my ministry. Then the move to Monroe, Louisiana further took away any distractions outside of church and work. With it being a much smaller city than I was accustomed to living in, it was the perfect place for me to further pursue the ministry. I have been able to further expand my educational pursuits through the local Continued Christian Education Sessions offered through our Baptist Church Convention. I have also been able to establish a strong relationship with my Pastor (Pastor Ike Byrd, III). He has evolved to not only become my spiritual leader but a great mentor and friend. As I continue to grow in ministry, I will leverage my relationships with Pastor Ford and Pastor Byrd for spiritual guidance, teaching and accountability. I will continue to pray boldly to God daily asking for His guidance, spiritual wisdom, understanding, growth and spiritual maturity. I will also stay in the Word by reading the Bible which is the blueprint for our lives. I will stay connected to the Holy Spirit through prayer and meditation. I will also take more notes during my reading and devotional times. I will also continue to spend at least one hour listening to sermons online along with my ongoing Bible Studies, Sunday School, Men’s Ministry and Bible school courses. Lastly, my wife and I were recently asked to lead the Youth Ministry (Ages 12 – 20). We will be responsible for teaching weekly bible lessons, life skills and education/career development. This is a huge responsibility that will require ongoing studying and preparation. We are grateful to God for this amazing opportunity. I will also stay faithful to my alone time with God. In my 1st Sermon (The Conversion Experience), I stated that I will spend quiet (alone) time with God by: Talking to the Lord in prayer, Reading His Word, Spending some time with Him and just listening to Him. As the Word of God says, in (Psalms 34:4-5 NIV), I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.”
As I continue to grow and mature in the ministry I know potential pitfalls may arise. The enemy is always looking to seek and destroy the children of God who are living for Christ and delivering the message of God’s Truth and His Salvation. However, I am encouraged by the Word of God that is found in (Luke 21:15 NKJV), “For I will give you a mouth and wisdom which all your adversaries will not be able to contradict or resist.” Another pitfall that is always present is conforming to world we currently live in. I would like to reference a statement from Dave Earley in Everyday Ministry- Getting Your Ears Pierced for Jesus, where he states, “For those of us called into a life of ministry, we need to recognize that ministry means being the slave of Jesus Christ. We come to find that ministry often only makes sense when we see ourselves as the slaves of Jesus Christ.” This means that we should only be sold out for Christ and never sell out to the world.

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Part Two: The Motives of Ministry
What are your beliefs about the local church? These must be specific.
My beliefs as a Christian align to what I have been taught my entire life growing up in a Baptist Church. We adhere to the same set of Christian beliefs in my local church (Mount Zion Baptist Church) as well as the beliefs that are listed on our National Baptist Convention website. They are listed as follows:

“The Scriptures – We believe that the Holy Bible was written by men divinely inspired, and is a perfect treasure of heavenly instruction; that it has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth without any mixture of error for its matter; that it reveals the principles by which God will judge us, and therefore is, and shall remain to the end of the world, the true center of Christian union, and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and opinions shall be tried.
The True God – We believe the Scriptures teach that there is one, and only one, living and true God, an infinite, intelligent Spirit, whose name is Jehovah, the Maker and Supreme Ruler of heaven and earth; inexpressibly glorious in holiness, and worthy of all possible honor confidence and love; that in the unity of the Godhead there are three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost; equal in every divine perfection, and executing distinct but harmonious offices in the great work of redemption. The Fall of Man – We believe the Scriptures teach that Man was created in holiness, under the law of his Maker; but by voluntary transgressions fell from that holy and happy state; in consequence of which all mankind are now sinners, not by constraint but choice; being by nature utterly void of that holiness required by the law of God, positively inclined to evil; and therefore under just condemnation to eternal ruin, without defense or excuse.
The Way of Salvation – We believe that the Scriptures teach that the salvation of sinners is wholly of grace; through the mediatorial offices of the Son of God; who by the appointment of the Father, freely took upon him our nature, yet without sin; honored the divine law by his personal obedience, and by his death made a full atonement for our sins; that having risen from the dead, he is now enthroned in heaven; and uniting in his wonderful person the tenderest sympathies with divine perfections, he is in every way qualified to be a suitable, a compassionate, and an all-sufficient Savior. A Gospel Church – We believe the Scriptures teach that a visible church of Christ is a congregation of baptized believers, associated by covenant in the faith and fellowship of the Gospel; observing the ordinances of Christ; governed by his laws; and exercising the gifts, rights, and privileges invested in them by His Word; that its only scriptural officers are Bishops or Pastors, and Deacons whose Qualifications, claims and duties are defined in the Epistles to Timothy and Titus. Repentance and Faith – We believe the Scriptures teach that repentance and faith are sacred duties, and also inseparable graces, wrought in our souls by the regenerating Spirit of God; whereby being deeply convinced of our guilt, danger and helplessness and of the way of salvation by Christ, we turn to God with unfeigned contrition, confession, and supplication for mercy; at the same time heartily receiving the Lord Jesus Christ as our prophet, priest and king, and relying on him alone as the only and all-sufficient Savior.”
What role will the Gospel of Jesus Christ play in your church or ministry? How and when will the Gospel be presented? As a believer in Jesus Christ and as a minister of the Word of God, the Gospel of Jesus will be at the forefront of both my ministry and our church. My role is to fulfill the Great Commission given to us by Jesus Christ Himself in (Matthew 28:16-20 NIV)
“Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely, I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Therefore, I will preach and teach about the birth, life, death, burial and resurrection of Christ. I will also spread the good news of all that we have gained because of Christ.

What will you specifically do to help those in your ministry develop the mind of Christ?
I will pray daily to seek His Face, strive to live a life of integrity and be Christlike in all that I do. I will show others in the word of God what it means to have the mind of Christ. In the article, The Way to Live with the Mind of Christ, Joyce Meyers states, “If we don’t learn how to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ (see 2 Corinthians 10:4-5), we won’t live the life Jesus died to give us – a life of peace with God, peace with ourselves, great relationships, real joy and the ability to become all God has created us to be. It comes down to choosing to believe what God says (the truth) more than we believe our feelings, what other people say or our circumstances. The Bible specifically talks about three things we must do to develop a mind that agrees with God.
• Set your minds and keep them set on what is above (the higher things… (Colossians 3:2 AMP).
• Do not be conformed to this world…but be transformed (changed) by the entire renewal of your mind… (Romans 12:2 AMP).
• Gird up the loins of your mind… (1 Peter 1:13 NKJV).
If you will commit to set your mind on God’s Word, renewing your mind with truth and getting stinkin’ thinkin’ out of your way, then you will experience the fullness of new life that we can all have in Christ. All it takes is a little more progress one day at a time.”

Part Three: The Essentials of Ministry
What do you consider the essentials of ministry and why? You can agree or disagree with the authors. How will you specifically incorporate these essentials into your ministry?
In the book Everyday Ministry Applying the Christian Faith authors Dave Earley and Ben Gutierrez cover thirty-five Essentials of Ministry. I agree with all of the essentials covered; however, I will only reference a few in this paper. It is important for individuals to understand the expectations and requirements of ministry. We need to know within our hearts and minds what the Word of God says about the importance of prayer, maintaining an eternal perspective, continuous growth, loving people, uncompromising faith, loyalty to truth, being the biblical church and commitment to obedience. I have listed The Essentials of Ministry that resonate the most with me as well as how I specifically plan to incorporate them into my ministry.
• Getting a fresh vision of God. I will get a fresh vision of God through prayer and spending time in the Word.
• Living a life of saying and praying, “Here am I. Send me.” (see Isaiah 6:8) I will wake up every morning saying to the Lord, Here am I, Send me. Then allow the Lord to guide my plans for the day.
• Saying yes to God’s gracious invitation to join him in advancing his kingdom and building his church. I will be open to saying yes to growing God’s kingdom and His Church.
• Making prayer your number-one priority. Prayer is essential not only ministry but to everyday living. I will pray throughout the day for guidance, strength and clarity.
• Planning to continue to grow and improve. I will be intentional in my approach to growing and improving my ministry pursuits.

Part Four: The Methods of Ministry
What methods will you incorporate into your ministry and why? You can agree or disagree with the authors of the course textbooks. How will you specifically incorporate these methods into your ministry? I strongly agree with the methods of ministry that are found in the book Everyday Ministry Applying the Christian Faith by Dave Earley and Ben Gutierrez. I am currently incorporating intercession prayer in my everyday prayer life. I am also in the early stages of leading a small group which will be working with the Youth Ministry as the Youth minister. In the article Paul’s Method of Ministry published by The Coffee House – Coffee and Commentary on Biblical and Cultural topics, author Pastor Travis Gilbert states, “There is a method of ministry that Paul displays and which 21st century churches should emulate. That method is clearly seen in (Acts 20:20), And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publicly, and from house to house.” Basically, what we find here is the concept of a total presentation of God’s Word.” I agree with the author, in that if we present God’s Word in its entirety we can’t go wrong. As the song goes, “Let the Word do the Work.”

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Bibliography

Earley, Dave and Gutierrez, Ben “Everyday Ministry” Applying the Christian Faith. Nashville: B&H Publishing Group, 2010
Gilbert, Travis Paul’s Method of Ministry, The Coffee House – Coffee and Commentary on Biblical and Cultural Topics, Web Article, 2011
Meyers, Joyce The Way to Live with Mind of Christ, Joyce Meyers Ministries, Web Article, 2018
National Baptist Convention, What We Believe – Articles of Faith, Web 2018

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