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The Threefold Charge in Ministry

Piper: the Threefold Charge in Ministry

  1. Impart the whole counsel of God. (Acts 20:27)
  2. Hand the students over to the standard of teaching to which you were called. (Romans 6:17)
  3. Guard the deposit entrusted to you, which you must entrust to others. (1 Timothy 6:20; 2 Timothy 2:2)

Do you have in your mind and in your heart a counsel of God—a totality,  a wholeness, a unity, a coherence, a body of divinity—that you mean in this generation to impart to these students so that they have it when they leave?

Why would you want such a thing? Why would you want to have it? Why would you want to impart it? Why would you want to hand them over to the type of teaching—the standard of teaching? Why would you want to pass on a deposit, a body?

Well, one answer to that question would be that you want them to burn for Christ—burn for Christ!

Well, where does that come from? It does not come singing. It comes from the truth we sing! You can get hands in the air in a minute with the right crescendo. But what about when they suffer—what about when they’re rejected? Will they embrace it? Will they burn for Christ when there are no notes playing, no CDs, nobody else around—just rejection, just suffering, just sickness? Will they burn?

That’s the only kind of young people we want to breed. Who cares about the rest? It’s kind we want to breed—you want to breed burning young people who burn when they suffer for Christ. Suffering surely must be the mark of post-9/11 youth ministries, surely in this world if not any other world. You must breed sufferers for Christ.

They are ready! They are ready; call them to it. Model it for them, doing the hard thing.

(John Piper)

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