“He must increase, but I must decrease.” (John 3:30)
The Scripture quote above from John the Baptist could almost serve as a kind of “ministry mantra,” a slogan. John was very much in touch with his ministry. He had no identity issues and no authority issues. He was a prophet sent from God to carry out a mission to herald the arrival of the Messiah. His message was a simple, powerful call to repentance in preparation for the Messiah, and a demonstration of that repentance and commitment by baptism.
By its very nature, John’s ministry was temporary. When Jesus arrived, the decline of John’s ministry would be natural. John knew this and eloquently expressed it: “He must increase, but I must decrease.”
In a sense, this is the way it is for all ministry of any kind. The task of all Christian ministry is to point people to Jesus. The only justification for making much of our ministries, as Paul put it, is so that we can point people to Jesus and thus glorify Him. Jesus taught His disciples that if He were to be lifted up, He would draw people to Himself.
Ministry must focus on exalting Christ. That is the work of the Holy Spirit, and both within and through us, that is what the Spirit wants to achieve. Thus we must decrease so that He may increase.
Lord, Help us today to make much of the ministries You have given us, to the end that we will exalt and glorify You. Amen.