Kingdom of Self: Ministry as a Glory War

Paul David Tripp said this at the pre-conference seminar of the DG Pastor’s Conference:

We all know for sure that the ultimate goal of any form of ministry is the glory of God. God’s zeal is that there would be an ever-growing company of people that surrender every desire and every action to his glory. That’s the purpose of ministry. But ministry is a glory war. In ministry, there are subtle glories that compete with the glory of God. It’s very easy somewhere in ministry to have a glory shift take place somewhere in your heart and not even know it. It’s very easy to shift from a pursuit of the glory of God and his kingdom to begin to serve the glory of self and the glory of the kingdom of self.

How do you serve the kingdom of God in ministry? By doing ministry. How do you serve the kingdom of self in ministry? By doing ministry. The kingdom of self is a costume kingdom that masquerades itself as the kingdom of God.

This is a very helpful observation for one who’s in the ministry.  A ministerial position does not guarantee that all will be done for God’s glory and the advancing of God’s kingdom.  A ministerial position means discernment of heart motives is that much more important.  Tripp provides the following questions to reveal one’s ministerial motives:

When is it you find joy in ministry? When is it that you question whether or not you want to be a pastor? Where do you struggle with loving your people? How do you define a good Sunday, a good week, a good year? How much of that has do you with the glory of self: the glory of comfort, the glory of success? Those aren’t inherently bad things, but they must not rule your heart.

Full article available here.

Caleb Gallifant


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