7 Invisible Weapons for Effective Ministry

The Gospel Coalition | 9/19/2019 | David ‘Gunner’ Gundersen
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What makes ministry effective? How are people changed? What methods should we use?

In the annals of war, certain leaders and strategies and weapons get the most attention: the tanks and the bombers, the gold and the generals, the noble sacrifices that rightly earn chests of medals and leave loud legacies ringing out to the far horizons of history.

View - Story - Noah - Ark - David

So, too, in our view of the biblical story: Noah builds the ark, David kills Goliath, Elijah summons skyfire, Peter headlines Pentecost, Paul sails the Mediterranean, and Apollos confounds the Jews. Ancient ark-builders, teenage giant-slayers, sky-rending prophets, revivalist preachers, martyred missionaries, and Alexandrian orators adorn the ministry museums of our collective memory.

These all have their place, of course. God used them all, and he uses them still. But it’s also the case that some of the most effective weapons and strategies are simultaneously the most subtle. God’s arsenal is not limited to thundering tanks, high-flying jets, and bunker-busting bombs. No war is won without the less-noticed pieces of the puzzle—the slow-moving supply lines, the rifle-sling designers, the scouts and topographers, the invisible sound-waves piercing the air with vital communication.

God - Weapons - Yeast - Bread - Water

So many of God’s weapons are slow, subtle, almost secretive. Like yeast in bread or water coming to a boil, God loves to work in ways that require extended faith and the wisdom of spiritual foresight. With that in mind, here are seven secret weapons in ministry.

Prayer is the most powerful invisible weapon we have. It prompts heaven to sow seeds on earth. How much of Elijah’s miracle-laden ministry was energized by simple prayer (1 Kings 17:1; 18:41–46; James 5:17–18)? How much of Jesus’s power in ministry came from his prayer walks in the Galilean hills (Matt. 14:23; Luke 6:12; 9:28)? How much of our own fruitfulness is nourished by the unseen kneeling of closeted...
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