Philosophy of Ministry
These seven pillars define the philosophy of ministry at Hoffmantown Church. By God’s grace, all that we do at Hoffmantown will rest on these pillars which flow from an understanding of Living Grace. Only in daily surrender to God and His word can we become conduits through whom He accomplishes His work. We are not interested in producing ministry for God. Our hope and prayer is to join God in what He is already doing.
True ministry is initiated by God.
Anything of eternal significance originates with God, not man. There must be an identifiable sense of God’s leading before true ministry takes place. God distributes spiritual gifts as He wills to each believer, providing both the ability and motivation for the specific ministry He has purposed. God also determines the result of His ministry, which will always glorify Him and edify the body. Our call is not simply to man’s good works, but to God’s good work—to join what He is initiating. (I Cor. 12:4-7; Rom. 11:36)
Ministry God initiates is anointed.
Where God guides, He provides. God prepares us for ministry done according to His power by revealing our sinfulness in light of His holiness. He, then, empowers us for His ministry through the Holy Spirit. If He initiates something, it will have His blessing. Whatever God initiates is anointed. It is not up to us to measure results. When God moves, He does things His way. We must be careful never to think we can accomplish true ministry through our wisdom, strength or resources. (Is. 6:1-8; Judges 17,18)
True ministry is received from God, not achieved for God.
True ministry is not us coming up with an idea and asking God to bless it. Or see a need and offer God our suggestions and solutions. It is learning to join God in what He is already doing. Even when we have a sense that something is God’s will, that doesn’t necessarily mean it is His timing. Often there is a period of waiting between our awareness of a need and God raising up His solution. Since God both initiates and anoints ministry, He is also faithful to reveal His direction in His time. We are responsible to wait in faith on the Lord until He gives direction, and then act in courageous faith on that direction.
(John 11:1-46; Acts 16:1-12; Phil.1:12-14, 4:22; Rom. 11:36)
True ministry is a result of our surrender, not of our commitment.
To be a Christian is to be a bondservant. The most important word in the Christian life is not commitment, but surrender. For example, we can be committed in the energy of our flesh without ever surrendering control to Christ. Surrender means living in submission to the will and word of Christ and recognizing the necessity of God doing what only He can do. Ministry that flows out of man’s efforts requires striving, and matters not in eternity. Ministry that flows out of surrender requires a continual yielding, and produces eternal fruit. (Rom. 1:1, 9, 14, Rom. 15:17, 18)
God alone gets the glory for His ministry.
Ministry that flows out of man’s efforts glorifies man. Ministry that flows from a surrendered walk glorifies God who does the work and brings the results. In yielding to him, we allow His worth and nature to be clearly seen as He lives through us. It is a most grievous sin for man to usurp the glory of God. All ministry is for the sake of the King and His kingdom. (Rom. 11:33-36; Gal. 2:20; Is. 48:8, 11; 2 Cor. 4:7; Eph. 3:21)
A true ministry that is of the Lord is an organism, not an organization.
God accomplishes His ministry through the body of Christ, the Church. The church is not a system; it is a living, breathing organism composed of those indwelt by the Spirit through faith in Christ with Christ as the head. We’re a body, not a business! Just as the human body has different parts, each with its own function; so each member of Christ’s body has different gifts, all working together to glorify Him. (Rom. 12:1-9)
The role of church leadership is not to do all the work of service, but to equip the body.
We do not call our pastoral staff “ministers” for we are all “priests” (1 Peter 2:9). We are all called to minister. It is the responsibility of leadership to equip the body to minister (Eph. 4:11-16). When the body is equipped in God’s way, then the gifts operate. It is then that the Spirit of God manifests the love of Christ that is the identifying mark on those who are walking with Him.