One of the keys to a successful ministry is Evaluation. This means looking at how well we are reaching our goals. It involves investigating our methods, the tools we use, how well equipped our personnel and volunteers feel, how our attendees are improving. In other words, taking a detailed look at all the big and small aspects of the ministry and asking some hard questions. The New Year is perhaps a convenient time marker for doing this.
So maybe this is a good time to see how you are doing in your personal ministry and how your church is doing in its ministry to the community. Are we making the kind of impact that our neighbors need? Do they appreciate our presence? Are we giving them a true picture of Christ – one that is drawing them closer to Him?
It’s not easy to ask these questions. Consider king Solomon, who, near the close of his long and hectic life, states “I considered all my activities which my hands had done and the labor which I had exerted, and behold all was vanity and striving after wind and there was no profit under the sun” (Eccl 2:11, NASB). I can’t help but wonder what would have happened if Solomon took the opportunity to assess the direction that his life was going much earlier. Would he have felt that it was so futile? Or would he have responded to God’s Spirit leading him in the path that leads to fullness of joy?
Solomon had built a glorious temple to the Lord, but over time it was defaced and degraded, and finally left in ruins. Centuries later, through much prayer, planning, and providential leadings, Nehemiah sets out to reestablish the temple as a center for worship and as a light to the world. His words bring cheer, hope and courage to the nation: “I also told them about the gracious hand of my God on me and what the king had said to me. They replied, ‘Let us start rebuilding.’ So they began this good work.” (Neh 2:18, NIV).
There is a time to build, and there is a time to rebuild. Whatever phase your ministry is in, I pray that the Lord strengthens your heart and hand for this good work.
Angeline B. David, DrPH, MHS, RDN
Health Ministries / ARMin Director
North American Division