M25: The Jesus Model for Ministry

M25 Ministries Graphic

There is nothing more Christlike than to put down your titles and pick up a towel to serve others. Pure and simple.

To be honest, one of the great downfalls that I have observed in churches today that are failing or in decline (BTW, that would be about 85% of churches in America today) is that they have become so inward focused (concerned more with who they’re trying to keep happy than who they’re called to reach), that they’ve forgotten why they were intended to come together and meet in the first place–to worship God and serve people! And one of the best ways to serve people is to share the love of God with them in practical ways.

Jesus said, “Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave—just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:26-28, NIV).

At the church that I currently serve as pastor, we are providing opportunities through the creation of M25 Ministries (based on Matthew 25… go ahead and read it. It may change your view of what church is all about).

Basically, M25 is all about truly living a Christ-centered life through the power of the Holy Spirit, demonstrating (not just through empty words) God’s practical love for people by serving their most basic needs–food, clothing, drinks, compassion, etc. Why? Because this is the Way of Jesus!

To get just a glimpse into what we are trying to do, watch this short promo video about M25 Ministries. Better yet, if your church currently does not have anything like this, why not begin praying and planning how to get started today? You’ll be glad you did!

Matthew 25:35-40 (NIV)
I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
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Divine Interruptions

Before going any further, you need to read Acts 3 to fully appreciate the context of what you are about to read. Go ahead, grab a cup of coffee (or your beverage of choice) and check it out and come back to this page…  

OK, great. Now that you’ve read Acts 3, let’s proceed…

When reading this particular chapter recently in my devotions, I honestly had to pause for a moment and consider whether or not Peter and John, even for a split second, got just a little irritated with the lame beggar sitting outside of the Temple asking for money? I mean, working in a church environment we get calls all the time asking for financial assistance, which unfortunately we also have to decline more times than I care to admit, leaving me feeling just a little guilty each time. But, if I’m honest, these requests sometimes come at the worst times, usually interrupting me at the most inopportune moments. I mean, I’m a busy man. I’ve got a lot of work to do… Kingdom work at that. Don’t people know how busy I am? Sheesh! (OK, can you read into my sarcasm just a little?)

But I notice here in Acts 3, when Peter and John are confronted with a financial request, while on their way to worship, that they do not flinch, even for a second, but go straight to the real issue at hand. The lame beggar, more than needing a few dollars (which would help temporarily), really needed something much greater… healing in his body. 

So, Peter makes this incredibly bold statement: “I don’t have any silver or gold for you. But I’ll give you what I have. In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, get up and walk!”

There’s three things that really stuck out to me here:

  1. Peter and John did not have the money to give the lame beggar. This helps me tremendously, since I (nor the church) don’t have the financial means to meet outside requests the vast majority of the time.
  2. You can only offer what you have! What did Peter have? He had the Spirit of God empowering his life and ministry; he had authority (notice he didn’t even stop to pray!); he had boldness which only comes from a strong faith in God. So, the question is: Do I have anything to offer those asking me for assistance?
  3. Peter and John’s schedule was interrupted. They were on their way to a prayer meeting (you know, the really spiritual stuff) when this opportunity to serve someone (you know… the “less spiritual” stuff) presented itself. However, they were obviously open to divine interruptions, as they walked in the Spirit and not the flesh.

So you see, it’s really quite simple. The power point from this example that we should all pay attention to is this… We need to intentionally prepare and position ourselves to be more aware (and open) to the interruptions in our daily routine. You never know, they may just be divinely orchestrated God opportunities!

So, would you make it your prayer, as I am learning to do in my own life, to invite God into your world, asking Him to grow you and mature you into the Spirit-led and Spirit-empowered person He desires for you to be! Then, maybe instead of getting annoyed with unplanned interruptions and delays, perhaps we’ll have the authority we need to give what is most helpful to others within that divine moment! Just something to think about…