One of the greatest problems in the church today is personal ambition on the part of ministers. The apostle Paul addressed this issue with the church at Philippi, saying,
Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. (Philippians 2:1–3)
Those are very powerful words. Paul was not talking about superficial feelings. They go deep.
I have met many wonderful ministers, but the primary driving force of today’s church, as I see it, is ambition: ambition to build a bigger church, to hold a larger meeting, to put more names on the mailing list, or to make oneself known. Maybe I am being cynical, but, nevertheless, ambition seems to be a primary force in contemporary Christianity. However, Paul said, “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition.”
I have a question for those of you in the Lord’s service. It is, by extension, a question for everyone, for all believers are to be in the Lord’s service. By what are you moved? What prompts you to do the things you do? To speak the words you speak? To relate to people the way you do? Are you motivated by the love of God and by compassion? First John 4:7–8 exhorts us, “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.”