Introduction: The church's philosophy of ministry gives the reason why ministry is done in the church. It doesn't tell us specifically what we are to do, but why we do what we do. The philosophy of ministry, which is based on Biblical truths, principles and commands, spells out God's ways and means of doing His work in the church. Contrary to man's ways, which are man centered, pragmatic, and doomed to fail, God's ways will always lead to true spiritual growth in the church, and will be that which gives God the greatest glory.
Biblical truths from God's Word form the basis of our philosophy of ministry - truths about God, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, God's Word, man, salvation, the church, and our future hope. The church's knowledge, understanding, conviction and application of these foundational truths are necessary for a Biblically sound philosophy of ministry.
These Biblical truths form the basis for our purposes. For example, the truth that God is holy gives us reason to glorify God, which is our primary purpose. The truth that man is sinful and that Jesus Christ can save us from our sin motivates us to preach the gospel, another one of our purposes. But it is obedience to God's commands by which we fulfill His purposes. For example, when we obey God's command to preach and teach His Word, then we are fulfilling His purpose to love and build the saints.
Ministry is our service to both God and man, and is one of the primary means by which we carry out the purposes of the church and the commands of God, and therefore accomplish God's work. Ministry is both spontaneous and organized. It takes place when the Christians, both men and women, young and old, understand and are convinced of God's foundational truths, are led and empowered by the Spirit, and then obey His commands.
Biblical truths give support and direction to our purposes, which are then carried out as we obey God's commands and are involved in ministry. One of the primary ways that ministry is carried out in the local church is when individuals in the church use their spiritual gifts. We can say then that our philosophy of ministry is based upon Biblical truths, directed by God's purposes and commands, and shaped by the giftedness of members in the church.
God's Methods, Not Man's
As a church, we only want to employ methods or programs that are supported by and in line with God's foundational truths and purposes. The why and how of all our ministries must be guided by Biblical truths, principles and purposes, not by man centered ideas, pragmatism or utilitarianism. Our desire is for God centered and Spirit led innovation. As Christians we need to remember that we are to be wise and hardworking servants, but it is God alone who grants success, and God alone who builds the church. We honor and please God as we do His work in His way, by His power, and for His glory.