Commitment to Ministry: A Lesson from Archippus

Colossians 4:17
And say to Archippus, Take heed to the ministry which thou hast received in the Lord, that thou fulfill it.

No one better understands the sense of urgency and the passion that first comes with the receiving of a ministry than those who have just gotten started. There you are; excited, amazed, humbled, overjoyed, optimistic, and anxious to see what God is going to accomplish in your life! These are definitely exciting days in which to live, and those are the kinds of emotions one ought to experience who is truly dedicated to fulfilling God’s will for his or her life. So is the case with Archippus. The scriptures do not mention his name to my knowledge but two times, both in brief salutations. This is the first mentioning.

Here, we can agree that Paul understands the temptations, stresses, and strains of life and ministry which have a way of depleting us of our initial zeal, if we are not careful! Therefore, Paul is giving a charge not only because of his knowledge of the challenges Archippus will face, but also because of the things he is yet to learn in the process! It is possible to have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge (see Rom. 10:2)! Let’s just be honest, when we first start in ministry, we are naïve. So naïve, as a matter of fact, that we are blinded to the things we will suffer down the road for the name of Christ.

If we knew going in exactly what it would take to do ministry, most of us would not have been that excited about getting started in the first place! It is to this end that Paul is emphasizing the importance of having a commitment to fulfill, or to finish, the ministry that God has entrusted to us. I ask you this question; you may have started off good, but will you finish? Will you fulfill the mission that God has laid out, even after the newness wears off, and even after you find yourself at times with more hardships, trials, and afflictions than what you anticipated?

Do not be surprised when you are bitten by the wolves, for Christ sent us into the midst of them! This is a challenge for all of us in ministry, to walk in wisdom and humility. To let the Holy Spirit teach us what we need to know in order to survive and thrive even in hostile environments, to learn how to respond to haters with dignity and grace, and to accept the challenges as they come. To finish well!

~ Pastor Gary Caudill
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