Fernando, Ajith; Jesus Driven Ministry. Crossway Books, Wheaton, Ill. 2002. pp225 price 32.95. A.F.- Director of Youth For Christ in Sri Lanka since 1976, and involved with many more ministries.
Ch.1. Identifying With People.
Our most powerful example is Christ himself. In postmodernity there is a strong focus on feelings and experience to the detriment of commitment and faithfulness. To identify without discrimination will usually result in frustration.
Ch.2. Empowered By The Spirit.
Again Jesus is our example. After he identified with people through his baptism he was anointed by the Spirit. Mk. 1:10. The baptism of the Holy Spirit may be "intiatory or subsequent" 31, to conversion but always "implies fullness". 31. Fullness may be seen as a quality of life or it may be "an anointing for special challenges". 32. Prayer is essential for empowering.
Ch.3. Affirmed By God.
Jesus was affirmed by his Father. The early church received affirmation. Acts 4:29-30. Affirmations are very important at low points in a person’s spiritual journey. Affirmation comes through the witness of the Holy Spirit. "People who get their identity, security and significance from God have the strength to be servants." 59.
Ch. 4. Retreating From Activity.
The necessity and benefits of retreats are discussed. Too often busyness is seen as a problem solving device for some. (youth and seniors). Fasting is discussed as it relates to retreats.
Ch.5. Affirming the Will Of God.
Often there are strong times of testing before significant growth and/or ministry. Personal rights should not take priority over the known will of God in our lives. Our requests should always be subject to the Lord’s will, otherwise they can become demands. In all of this we need to have a correct understanding who God is.
Ch.6. Saturated in the Word.
Saturation in the Word is basic to holy living. The Word is a source of strength and security in ministry. As a primary source the Word should never be replaced by other writings regardless of the topic. The inductive study of the Word is recommended .
Ch.7. Facing Wild Animals.
The animals mentioned in Christ’s temptation are considered as representing hostile forces. Angels on the other hand are agents of God sent to serve (minister) in the presence of hostile forces.
Ch.8. Bearing Good News.
"Joy is one of the rewards of Christian ministry." 116. Declaring the truth is often done out of compulsion. The authority of preachers is derived authority.
Ch.9. Growing in a Team.
The disciples were an awesome team. Paul and Barnabas worked as a team. The team environment makes it easier for members to work within their strengths and receive help with their weaknesses. Teams are important for accountability.
Ch.10. Discipling Young Leaders.
Paul modeled this with Timothy and Titus. The discipler must practice holy living and biblical teaching. Prayer is critical in discipling.
Ch.11. Launching Disciples into Ministry.
This chapter is an exposition of John 17:6-9. Christ prays for the protection of his disciples. This will result in unity. Christ gave joy. He explained the hazards of the world. Those who disciple must be prepared to make sacrifices for those they disciple.
Ch.12. Ministering to the Sick and Demon-Possessed.
It is important to establish the presence of the demon(s). The author talks about "power ministry" 198 compared to evangelism. He is not in favor of healing meetings that are advertised as such. Responding to people with needs, sick or possessed, is not just for those who have special gifts. Directing needy people to those who have gifts is sometimes an option.
Ch.13. Visiting Homes.
The ‘home visits’ that Christ made are refereed to. Visiting should include the homes of unbelievers. Pastoral visits are discussed. It is good to pronounce blessings on people. Visitation is not done as much as it used to be. It done more by those with special gifts that may not be pastors.
Jesus had his ‘place(s) of prayer’ and talked about his times away from others in order to pray. Matt. 6:6. Prayer is basic to ministry. Prayer is hard work. Prayer involves specific content. Prayer prevents burnout. Nobody prays enough.
The topics in this book are treated expositionally. The book of Mark is a primary source of information. Most of the individuals quoted or referred to as examples are either seniors or persons from previous generations. It tells you something of where this author is coming from. He is American educated and serves as director of Y.F.C. in Sri Lanka. There is a good deal of solid biblical teaching in this resource.