Ministry is all about relationships—the relationships that we have, the ones that we do not have yet, and the ones we are currently building. The source of ministerial relationships is our relationship with the Father and, more importantly, His desire to have a relationship with us as His children (Gal. 4:6-7; 1 John 2:28-3:10) and creation (Gen 1-2). A father loves, disciplines, listens, demonstrates, forgives, and empowers. He (God) has shown us all we need to know through His son, Jesus Christ, and empowers us to follow His commands by His Spirit.
The basis for ministry is the relationship we have or do not have with God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. Therefore, ministry is the communication of the Fathers love through his Son, called the Gospel, empowered by the Holy Spirit through relationships (Ministry in the Image of God). Because God himself exists in a relationship (Gen. 1:26-27; Mark 1:9-11), we are to be ministers and minister through establishing relationships, so that all people will have a relationship with God (Gen 1-2).
The context for ministry is both within the community of believers established by the Spirit, called the Church (Acts 1), and in society, which rebels against God, called the world (Rom. 3:10-18). The relationship between the Church and the world are contrasted (1 John 2:15-17); one has the Spirit of God and is led by Christ, while the other is embodied in selfish desires and led by the flesh. The relationship between God and His children exits in both, but one accepts this relationship, while the other rejects it (1 John 2:28-3:10). Ministry fosters and builds up this relationship within the Church, while it also brings people out of the world by making them aware of a different way to live, in regards to the world and God, and into a new relationship with the Jesus Christ (1 Peter 2:9-12).
Different forms of relationships (parent/child, husband/wife, boss/worker, etc.) exist, and God has shown us how to establish and sustain these relationships through His Word (Eph. 5:21-6:9; Gal. 4:1-7). For a youth and family minister, these relationships exist in the seven forms of leadership within the Church and out in the world. Leadership gifting is not based on whether or not you are an introvert or an extrovert or whether you are detail oriented or less attentive to details. The gift of leadership is discovered and developed in the same way as other spiritual gifts—that is, through life experience, training, and the maturing process. Even though it is the product of the Spirit’s presence and God’s grace, this gift requires diligence, faithfulness, hard work, and commitment to God’s purpose if it is to be exercised effectively (Church Planter). As a pastor and a leader within the Church, I am called to humbly lead as I follow my calling and help build relationships for the Kingdom of God.