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How Aristotle's rule for defining words can help ministry.
May 01, 2009
How Can Aristotle Help To Define Authentic Ministry?
According to Aristotle words...like ministry...must be defined accurately to facilitate communication...to ease understanding ...and to prevent chaos.
However...ministry has become full of activities (like clown ministry...hugging ministry...garden ministry and on and on) that either have nothing to do with ministry...or are only support activities that may lead to ministry...or in the worst case are actually false ministry (see Mt. 7:21ff).
So without a universal definition of ministry...people have called activities ministry that were actually moral and social crimes. You will find these in the examples posted on our website.
Therefore to make sure ministry is authentic...we have used Aristotle's timeless rule for forming proper definitions...and that rule is still used today in science...philosophy...and law...and now in ministry.
For any definition you need to organize different things or activities under a general category. The general category tells what these different activities have in common.. But let's be more concrete...
Ministry belongs in the general category of Religious Activity. No one would argue with that...would they? But it is not the only religious activity. There are other religious activities that are not ministry...such as the rite of excommunication (called shunning in some denominations).
And so...anything...anything at all...that is called ministry must be first and foremost...a clearly religious activity. If the activity is not religious in nature...it is not ministry (it may only be a supporting activity for ministry or false ministry or a completely secular activity).
Using the universal definition of ministry we have formulated and put up on our website...you will be able to tell clearly and cogently why the rite of excommunication...as one example...is not ministry even though it's a religious activity. And why coaching the church youth group basketball team...or the parish picnic...or private prayer...are not ministries...and why a minister leading group prayer is ministry.
So many ministers have been removed and barred from ministry because they made the fatal error of calling their activities ministry when they were anything but ministry.
Find out and use the universal definition of ministry so you will always keep your eye on the goal of ministry...and succeed in your calling to bring yourself and the people to whom you minister...closer to God.
Making sure he or she is doing authentic ministry is the first step in the minister's job. However, you can find out more about how to distinguish your ministry activities from non-ministry activities...so you will never make the mistake that so many have made...thinking you are doing ministry when you are not.
If you haven't already done it...don't forget to download your FREE copy of “How To Cure Thought Viruses That Infect Ministry”
And if you find the site useful...drop us a line and tell us how to make it moreso.
Thanks...now go and be a blessing in other people's lives.
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