A Secret to Success in Ministry You May Not Know

Norasit's Gallery (NorGal)

I might have discovered a secret to the success of Jesus’ disciples.

And therefore my own ministry.

I never caught it until recently.

Read these verses and see if you see what I saw:

They were to wear sandals, but not put on an extra shirt.

So they went out and preached that people should repent. (Mark 6:9, 12 )

Remember what happened?

And they were driving out many demons,anointing many sick people with olive oil, and healing them. (Mark 6:13)

Did you catch what made them successful? Don’t miss it?

They wore sandals.

You get it. If I want people to respond.

If I want to see success in ministry.

If I want them to repent.

Maybe I need to wear sandals.

Maybe it’s not happening as much as I wish it would because I’m not wearing the right shoes.

I should wear sandals every Sunday morning. With my jeans or with my suit.

Sandals…the missing ingredient.

And, of course, I’m being funny. Or trying to be.

Okay, not funny, but I’m making a point.

Jesus gave very specific instructions, but they weren’t unusual to the disciples. Just specific. The people seeing the disciples wouldn’t have thought they were dressed strange either.

Jesus’ clothing instructions were within the context of the day.

It’s a reminder to me.

Methods change.

The way we do ministry changes. The clothes we wear. The songs we sing.

I don’t wear sandals. To preach. Catch me Monday through Saturday, or an hour after the last service, and you’ll find me in Biblical attire.

I dress in the context of the day. To the people I’m trying to reach. Styles change.

And, of course, there are other implications of this. Not just shoes. Context changes.

Here’s the point I’m making. If we are not careful, we begin to think our practices, the ones we’ve done so long, or the one we prefer, are Biblical, when really they are contextual.

Cultural.

And, context changes.

But the fact that people need to repent doesn’t.

And, so we minister within the context of the day, and preach truth.

Jesus modeled that for us.

If not…we’d all be wearing sandals.

(My California pastor friends are confused. You can ignore this post and enjoy your sandals.)

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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19 thoughts on “A Secret to Success in Ministry You May Not Know

  1. Wearing sandals might also mean adapting to a changing world. There are so many ways to minister now. Before it's all about spiritual, like teaching/preaching, singing. But now you can do other things using modern technologies. Like setting up a video streaming for preaching, etc.

  2. Those particular instructions on clothes weren't instructions on clothes at all, but about preparation and planning. The success of what they did was not because they packed extra stuff or planned to stay long where they went. THAT was the object lesson. Nothing to do with clothes.

  3. thnk you for this insight. can't ignore this post, i'll give my flip-flops and jeans a new meaning specially now that this post has confirmed it! lol

  4. Thanks Ron. Great post loved the California reference. It’s not sunny all the time here but I will wear my keens to work today. Tradition and customs don’t save people Christ does. We need to be obedient in sharing the gospel and walk where he says to walk.
    Twitter: Troy McLaughlin

  5. You are correct about the sandals, but don't forget the most important part: closed toe. No one wants to see a man's funky toes. "And when thou wearest thy sandals in the street, thy toes must be covereth." 3 Maccabees 4:7…I think.
    Twitter: _brad_gilbert_

  6. Regarding our beloved brethern in CA, you might have to explain a little more to them. Lol. Speaking of those from CA, are you familiar with Jeff Fenholt, the ex-rock star, that the Lord saved, and completely changed his life?? Have you ever heard/read his testimony?? I have a very similar testimony, that I have printed into a Gospel tract. I would like to mail you some copies, if you would send me your mailing address–? Thank-you. Also, anyone else that may be interested, I would be glad to mail them some as well. God bless all.

  7. We are strange here on the left coast but on Sunday the minister still wears shoes. We just wear the best of what we have in our mission church which sometimes is not that good. However, I must alert my co-worker there in your church to notify me if you ride a donkey to church. Kidding of course, but you are correct, we must like the Apostle Paul become all things to all people if we want to reach any, I think.

  8. Do flip-flops count? JK Great post applicable to us all in our own setting. In the world, not of the world. Salt of the earth. etc. thanks.