July 7, 2008 Ration

Colossians 4:17

“And say to Archippus, ‘See that you fulfill the ministry that you have received in the Lord.’”

“See that you fulfill…” is a call for your action! “See that you fulfill…” is an exhortation to persevere. “See that you fulfill…” is a charge to throw off all manners of sloth. “See that you fulfill…” is one brother’s encouragement to another! So, brothers and sisters in the arts, see that you fulfill the ministry that you have received in the Lord!

Notice that Paul does not give a general motivational speech, but a specific charge. He says, “see that you fulfill the ministry that you have received in the Lord.” Paul is reminding Archippus that there is a particular ministry that God has charged him with, and he must see to it that it is fulfilled!

What is the ministry that you have received from the Lord, artist? I am not asking to hear about your preference of ministry, or the ministry charge that you have received from yourself. I am asking you to step aside from your ambitions for a season to discern what it is that God has given you to do, and then in His strength, see that you fulfill it.

We must think outside of the contemporary church vernacular definition of the word “ministry” for a moment. Your ministry may not involve being a part of the Sunday morning worship service, although your ambitions might urge you there. Your ministry may place you in the corporate church service, although your ambitions hinder you from it. Your ministry may not involve playing the “safe-bubble," Christian audience, although your insecure ambitions keep you suckling there. Your ministry may be to exhort the body of Christ, although your ambitions are off pursuing neutered fame. Your ministry may not include a vast following of fans, although your ambitions demand to equate volume with effectiveness. And all the while following your ambitions, even with great acclaim following your name, you fail to fulfill your ministry. Artist, see to it that the fulfillment of your ambitions does not devour the fulfillment of your ministry. And pray for the recalibration of your affections so that your ambition is to fulfill your ministry! Your ambitions, where they are yours alone, will have no reward awaiting them in heaven. God has given you a particular gig in this life, and it is your responsibility to be faithful in it. Make it your ambition to fulfill it.

There is a notion these days that the “ministry” of a Christian involved in the arts is to be “excellent” in their artistry, and so artistic excellence is pursued as the measure and grand pursuit of their ministering, never mind content, service, self-sacrifice, humility, truth, and all that is profitable for the observer’s soul. Listen artist, excellence is a given. Don’t be a slacker! God knows just how much skill potential He has given you and He knows exactly when you sloth off in your labors. Excellent you must be, but your charge is much higher than what is assumed to be understood. Do you understand? Your faithfulness to your purpose of ministry cannot hide behind your cry for excellence in artistry anymore!

Artists, “See that you fulfill the ministry that you have received in the Lord!” Your greatest pleasures await you there.

Jason Harms


© 2008 The Gaius Project