Laurie Marks Vincent is a Christian speaker, inspirational author, songwriter, recording artist and a 3 time award winning vocalist through secular and regional competitions. With a number of national television appearances in the past, she is a Christian Music artist who uses all of her gifts from the platform to powerfully communicate a message that challenges the strong and lifts the weary. Women's ministries and general audiences alike are moved by her ministry through her ability to effectively reach people where ever they are in life. Her own personal journey and testimony of emotional and physical healing is a powerful tool that has stirred hearts in faith to receive from God. Laurie's ministry motto is "More Than Just a Song". Her desire is to reach people with a message of purpose, destiny and healing. It is the very thing we are all reaching for in our relationship with God. Married to Scott Vincent, together they have two boys and live in Canada.
Biblical Principles for Gaining Increase in Your Ministry -- Part 1 --
(parts 2, 3 & 4 follow below)
We all desire for God to use us to our fullest capacity. We desire to write music that glorifies him and to be available wherever he may lead us and to use our music as it will honor him. However, the majority of ministries lack the ability to see a greater goal past what they are doing right now. If you see something bigger, it may require steps that you haven’t thought of. Perhaps you may not even know what you’re looking for. We will cover that in a later article.
Here’s a back to the basic look at how to grow your ministry with attributes that reap heavenly and earthly rewards.
1) Surrender your whole life to God
2) Surrender your gift to God
3) Surrender your ministry to God
The next practical step is to catch a vision or desire that you would like to see in your ministry. Habakkuk 2:2 says to write the vision down and make it plain on tablets for the vision is yet for an appointed time. Where do you see you and your music in the next year? How would you like God to use you? Now write that down and save it in your Bible. It may not be exactly what God has in mind but through this exercise, it’s hoped that God would speak to your heart and over time, he will establish the vision and steps for your ministry with more clarity. (Proverbs 16:9) You can save a more detailed version of what God speaks to your heart about. Place it in a place where you’ll remember to go back and read it in the future. This will help you keep your eyes and heart focused forward to the future.
Biblical Principles for Gaining Increase in Your Ministry -- Part 2 –
In Part One, the key word was “Surrender”. Nothing can begin to move forward unless you are totally surrendered to God, in your gift and calling. "For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it." (Matthew 16:25, NIV) It sounds scary, but surrender—complete obedience to God—is what's required of us to clean out what’s holding us back. It will also be the key to moving forward.
If we are not surrendered, then when God throws a twist in our plans, it can be hard to see what he is requiring of us, or what steps that he wants us to take next. It’s hard enough when we are surrendered and then God asks us to do something that is hard to swallow or requires greater faith and trust in him. We have a plan but God will always add the details, unexpected turns and may even provide a detour on our way to prepare us for what he has planned for us in the future. Everything that he sets before us, is for preparation of his perfect will. If his perfect will is what we desire, then the key is to surrender not just once, but also at each step of the journey. This is actually true and can be applied to any area of our lives.
It is important to remember that you are endeavoring to walk in “the calling” that God has planned for you. It is not really YOUR ministry. It is your personal “calling” that only you can walk in, because it was especially laid out for you, before you were born by the Creator.
Biblical Principles for Gaining Increase in Your Ministry -- Part 3 –
God has called you. You are his child and his plan is perfect for you. You desire his perfect will and therefore you’re going to fulfill the “calling” that he has in mind for you. That calling could be as simple as how he wants you to fulfill your role as a Mother or Father. Since we’re talking about ministry, let’s focus on what God requires us to do in order to fulfill that calling.
Point 1) WHO If you believe that God has called you to music ministry, then who will you be ministering to? Will you be ministering to singles, couples, or general audience at church? Will your music have an evangelistic nature to win souls for Christ? Are you called to music ministry as a worship leader? Know and understand who your audience is.
Your first endeavor is to please God first with your heart in the right place and then to honor him with your gift, How do we honor God with our gift?
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15
Point 2) HOW It’s true that our music, the lyrics and our life should all reflect the truth found in the Word of God. However, there is a little key point in this scripture that cannot be ignored. The key words are “a worker who does not need to be ashamed”. This is in direct relationship with knowing the word of truth, but is also related to our calling. If we are called to music ministry, then we need to know our gift, take care of it and hone it with excellence. We honor God by taking the gift that he’s given us, and learning the necessary skills to polish our gift. Many people say "Well I sing with the voice God gave me, why do I need to take voice lessons, or how could I think that I should do better than with what he has already given me?" He deserves the best from our heart as well as the gift that he has blessed us with. Scripture says that David played “skillfully”.
“Sing to him a new song; play skillfully, and shout for joy.” Psalm 33:3
Point 3) WHY We honor God in how we present our gift, with a "right spirit with in us" (Psalm 51:10) and how we communicate through our gift and who we're communicating to, through our gift. Look for opportunities to stretch your gift and calling, challenge your abilities to craft and hone your gift. Why? Pursue excellence in the gift that he has entrusted to you in order to fulfill and be ready to maximize the plans and purposes in the days to come, that God has for you. (Jeremiah 29:11)
Biblical Principles for Gaining Increase in Your Ministry -- Part 4 –
"The Who, What, Where For and Why" --
We are serving others, and serving God through the gift that he has entrusted to us. It is exciting to see God touch hearts as we minister. This is truly a blessing that can leave you on “cloud nine”. However, with our feet back on the ground, I’m referring to the practical application or our faith. Faith without works is dead. (James 2:17)
We have all heard the saying “We reap what we sow”. Jesus talks about this in Luke 6:38. He advises us that for our giving there will be a good measure back to us that runs over what we have previously given. As a matter of fact, from verses 27-38 Jesus’ message is about love and giving. These must be two very powerful principles when applied together! What is love unless there is giving involved? After all, it was God’s love for us that caused him to sacrifice his son to the cross, and the love of Jesus that caused him the sacrifice of trading his eternal glory for the cross. Why? It’s because he knew that the end result was a greater reward than the sacrifice. I repeat, “the end result was a greater reward than the sacrifice.”
When the budget is tight to do the things we need to do, recording, travelling costs, whatever it may be, the first thing we must do is trust God to supply. Trust is a matter of faith. You must have faith in something or someone in order to trust them. So put your faith in action and sow in faith where your need is. This can and is likely quite a sacrifice for all of us. It’s also easy to ignore a need that is presented to us, but we all know that what we have done to the least of them, we have done it unto him also and God is so blessed by this. (Matthew 25:40).
Here we are back to item number one of this series, the key word, “surrender”. You cannot follow through with an act of obedience if you are not surrendered. Sacrifice is an act of obedience and this law of sowing and reaping is demonstrated throughout scripture. Support other ministries and God will honor your giving and open a harvest for you too. We may not have much but even one penny given in the right attitude is pleasing to God. It is as pleasing as $500.00 that is given by those who are pleased in having much to give.
It is good to plan your giving intentionally as you give your tithes to the Lord. Also plan your offerings intentionally. Put aside a little at a time, to intentionally give and sow into other people’s dreams and callings. You will see your own ministry grow, receiving blessing and reaping a harvest. Giving in any way, our time, our possessions, our food, is wonderful, but whatever you sow, you also reap. Giving breaks the chains of poverty and releases a blessing. It’s a practice that I’m working hard to follow through on, and I am seeing how God opens the windows of heaven to pour out a blessing. God wants to bless us as we bless others. He is a good Father to his children.
The Bottom Line: You will reap what you sow.
The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having ALL SUFFICIENCY IN ALL THINGS AT ALL TIMES, you may ABOUND IN EVERY GOOD WORK. 2 Corinthians 9:6-8 ESV
Be faithful to be obedient, making sacrifices, and taking joy in giving and supporting one another. This will reap benefits and God will honor you by opening doors for your ministry that no man can shut.