Have you ever fantasized about being able to minister like Jesus? He was constantly aware of every need around Him while having the divine ability to completely meet those needs. Not only did Jesus have the ability to meet those needs, He did it! As I read the account of Jesus feeding a crowd of 4000 people who had assembled around Him (Mark 8:1-8) I realized that though we can never minister exactly like Jesus, by following His example we can become much better at meeting the needs of those around us. We can minister by getting AMPed. AMPed ministry involves three components – (1) awareness, (2) motivation and (3) proactive action. Jesus was AMPed and we can minister in the same way.
Jesus looked around and saw 4000 people. If I were Jesus my first thought might be, “Wow, look at all these people, and who are they here to see? Oh yeah, me!” But not Jesus. He looked past the numbers into their lives and saw their need – they were hungry. He was aware.
We too, if we are to minister AMPed, must be keenly aware of the needs of those we encounter. We must look past appearances, listen deeper than the surface level conversation, and prayerfully ask the Spirit to open our eyes to what is going on deep in the heart of every person we encounter. Through this we can become aware of their need instead of missing out on precious ministry opportunities.
Jesus told His disciples, “I have compassion on the crowd.” Jesus’ loving, caring heart motivated Him to take action. Ministry that follows Jesus’ example into being AMPed requires motivation. We minister because we care, we are motivated not by cold duty, but by a heart made tendered through the indwelling of the Spirit. Jesus saw hungry people and He cared. It was this genuine care that motivated Him.
People were important to Jesus, He came to die for a world full of them. People and their needs affected Him. He would not have been able to ride His donkey past a family holding a parchment sign with out stopping. He did more than pull over to the side of the road when He saw funeral procession, in fact more than once the procession turned into a celebration because He brought the deceased back to the land of the living. Jesus was motivated by compassion and if we are to minister like Him we must be driven to action by the heart.
Jesus, aware of the situation and motivated by His compassion took action, proactive action. There are two customary ways to approach ministry needs: proactive and reactive. Proactive action becomes aware of the need and moves to action before those in need ask. Reactive action waits for the person in need to approach then offers care. Jesus did not wait. He heard the collective rumble of 4000 empty stomachs and responded before even the first person asked for a morsel.
When we seek to minister AMPed we begin to step out toward those in need. Our heart should be open to all and our feet should also be moving their direction. Proactive action assumes the responsibility for the person’s need before they ask and seeks to meet that need even if they never ask.
We will never be Jesus, He personified ministry. But we also are left with His command, “As the Father sent me, even so I am sending you.” (John 20:21). This command lets us know that Jesus does see our ability to minister, we can be like Him if we go AMPed.