Being an Effective Witness of Jesus
Here’s a podcast on Pastor Priji having a conversation with Pastor Benny Mathew about what is ministry and how to be an effective witness of Jesus wherever you are placed at.
Pastor Priji: Could you give us a little glimpse of your life story? For those listening to us for the first time.
Pastor Benny: I was born and brought up in a Pentecostal family, I finished my schooling, I found Jesus in a time of my life where I was going through a very chaotic moment. It was so because I was confused whether to be alive or end my life, that was when I found Jesus. I was planning to take my life, and Jesus was planning to give me life. That was the time He found me. I didn’t choose Him, He chose me. I spent close to a decade in the army, I’m a veteran. I spent a good portion of my young life to serve my country. I left after a few years and now I’m working and based in Delhi. I’m a corporate professional. I have been called to serve the Lord in different facets, with different gifts, just trying to build up the kingdom of God in whatever capacity I’m being called to.
Pastor Priji: I love what God is doing through you, your wife and son. You’ve been an inspiration to many. Do you consider what you do in the corporate and what you do outside the church also as part of your ministry or is the ministry only that time when you’re preaching? Is it full-time ministry? There’s a phrase people use ‘Full-time’ and ‘Part-time’ ministry. How do you define your boundary of your ministry?
Pastor Benny: Recently I was having a chat with another man of God, he runs his own firm. A very successful business man. I asked him the same thing, about full-time, part-time and semi-time ministry. Where in the word of God is written ‘full-time’ or ‘part-time’? Why aren’t we talking about fulltime and part-time blessings? Why is God not listing Part-time or Full-time?
I feel these are all man made ideas and how we try to fit God and ministry. Suppose I’m getting a call from someone after 10pm to pray, maybe I can have an excuse saying I just came back from work and these are out of office hours, this and that. But do you think that if I have to call on God after 10pm, He says, ‘you know what, I have to take care of someone in the U.S.A, Indian time is not now’? God will never say that.
The one thing I always remind myself is that your job will pay you, but your calling will make you. It will make you into a person which God has created, formed, had plans for you to be prosperous and successful, anointed and blessed. It is He who gives that calling. It maybe in the form of a job or pastor, nurse, homemaker, plumber etc. There is nothing like part-time, half-time or full-time. Anybody who calls on the name of the Lord is on a mission. The mission being to establish the kingdom of God. Location would be different though, for some it’s a company, for some a home or orphanage, or hospital etc.
I cannot define the place of my choice where I have to serve God.
Pastor Priji: Often people wait to leave their job and quit their work so that they can start doing ministry. Whereas God is expecting us to do ministry even in the same places where we’ve been assigned. We can’t always select and choose what places we would get a job or what city to be placed. We have to let the Lord use the places and opportunities that He’s already given, and not limit it to what we do in the church. Am I right?
Pastor Benny: Exactly! I am surprised sometimes where people take decisions to leave their job or ministry to switch jobs or ministry etc. but there is a plan that seems good to man but in the end it always leads to destruction. If the Lord who’s calling you to this particular ministry or job then He is going to bring it to a good finish. Bible says, ‘He that has started the good work in you shall bring it to just not a finish but a good finish’. Now the issue is if the Lord is leading you to leave your job then you need to start taking ownership for yourself. Don’t blame it on God if your ministry is not flourishing or if somebody else is promoted instead of you, or if your boss is not happy with your effort or impact in the work. One of the issues we need to understand is that we don’t first seek the Lord’s voice in what to do, if He has called you into that particular place then He will take you places, so do it accordingly.
We can’t limit a ministry just to church. If there is a full time minister listening to me right now, tell me, from morning 7 to evening 7, are you only meeting your church? Or ministering to people of the church? Does a nurse serve only people who are born-again? or meeting with someone in your hospital who doesn’t know God, or meeting someone at a restaurant where you’re working and in that place you’re serving food to someone who doesn’t know God?
You’re serving at a restaurant, taking order from someone at a table who’s crying? What do you do? Maybe that person needs a word from you, saying, ‘I see you’re going through a tough time, how can I help you? Maybe I can. ‘Maybe just a hand of hope, so just tell him or her. That’s what your calling is making you.
Pastor Priji: Being attentive and sensitive to people’s needs, even when at work or surrounded by all the paperwork and coding work etc, being sensitive to people’s needs will bring an opportunity to minister to them and have an open door into their lives. How’s your experience of seeing God at work? Could you share some of your experience of ministering to people outside the church?
Pastor Benny: I think every child of God, whether a pastor or believer or whatever qualification, everybody first needs to spend some time to understand what their calling is. My calling is different from yours, and yours different from someone else. Everybody has a different measure of faith. That faith is not only operable in your church but operated 24/7. So if God has called us to minister in our offices, churches or hospitals etc. know that you need to have an standard operating procedure for yourself as a believer.
A friend of mine says ‘ There is a time for everything, and there is a time for everyone’. There is a season for everybody. Sometimes you’re working hard but your fruit you won’t yield in that season, might see it in some other season. But doesn’t mean you won’t see it. Primary thing being you need to work hard. Put in the fruit of your labor. Initial thing being labor. People in faith have all gone through that phase where we think God has forgotten us and we are forsaken. But God never forgets or forsakes anybody. He is like a tree, and there is a season for everybody. God sees all the work we do, but the problem as people is that we are reluctant to work. We need to put in the work, God needs to see the people who work hard.
Proverbs 3:23 – Then you will walk on your way, securely and your foot will not stumble. The whole chapter is about trusting God with all your heart and putting Godly wisdom in front.
So, first thing is we need to put godly wisdom in front of us. It is only available to those who call on the name of the Lord. We call on the Lord for blessings, breakthroughs, promotions etc. But how many times in a day are we seeking godly wisdom in the business that we do, in the profession that we’re undertaking. How many times in a day? It’s not just once in a day but everything in the Lord we must trust.
Pastor Priji: Sometimes we say ‘Ok God is going to bless us’ but we try to put little principles and wisdom into place without the hard work. Sometimes we work really hard but have no Biblical foundations. A balance of both is necessary. How do you as a working professional and also as a child of God, minister of God, how do you maintain that balance?
Pastor Benny: We have hero’s of faith, Joseph, Daniel, David, all these people set a precedence for us. Look at these people, Joshua, the guy who led the army, who was a supreme commander. These people paved the way for us, they showed us that this is what is going to be and how to be.
I look at these people who have been our early hero’s of faith, at the same time, I need to understand how to breakdown my lifestyle and where I am right now. With the kind of wisdom that we have, everybody has different skill sets. You need to break these faith principles carried out by these hero’s of faith and incorporate them into our skill sets. I break down into 3 things –
C – Character
I – Integrity
E – Excellence
These are of prime significance for me. Character speaks about what Jesus has done for you. Imitate what Jesus did and you will start showing Jesus in your character.
Integrity – Joseph is the epitome of integrity for us. When he had a chance to commit the sinful act with Potiphar’s wife, he asked ‘how can I do this?’ It’s a question about integrity. It’s not about doing things when everyone’s looking but it is about doing the right thing when no one’s looking.
Excellence – Daniel Chapter 1, Daniel and his men were put on a diet easily going with the rest of the world, but he said ‘test me and see I’m challenging you and see I will outgrow them’. Look at David, he was still playing his guitar when nobody was seeing. Because he was faithful and nobody was seeing, when Saul was being troubled by the evil spirit, someone around said ‘call for Jesse’s son’. Excellence when nobody sees you, will take you to place where you’re not qualified for.
Pastor Priji: What would you encourage young pastors in this particular area, in equipping their church with really being effective witnesses in their offices? What can they do to encourage on a weekly basis ?
Pastor Benny : Stick to the basics. First thing, complete your work or calling everyday of your life. You have to attempt, even if you may fail but you don’t have the right to sit idle and not attempt. I met some believers in my office who were just sitting around in office reading bible, they said it was their quiet time, but I said ‘no, leave your bibles there and do your work‘. You need to have your quiet time at home or at a particular time. You need to be at the right place doing the right thing. If you’ve been called to serve somebody, be on time. If you’ve been called to conduct work, be on time and prepare your notes well. Every time be delegated to your calling and do your work diligently.
Secondly, never compare yourself. Comparing is always controlled by judging. You start comparing, you have the process of jealousy in between and then start judging. You will be successful but you will come to place where if you are bitter or jealous, you will not be in a place to take feedback.
Third point, never stop learning. Even if you have 30 years of ministry service, or a CEO, never stop learning. Jesus never gave up on learning. Even as a kid and even as an adult, He showed what learning was all about. Even when He was doing His ministry at 3 and a half years, He sat down with the kids. He maintained a balance. Never stop learning. These 3 things are very important.
Subscribe to Another Day with Jesus!
If you would like to receive this podcasts right into your phones, you could subscribe to it on a regular feed reader like feedly, or on a podcasting app like iTunes or easier still you could receive it by WhatsApp. Click on the links below to subscribe!