Are you sufficient?
The pandemic has created new words, but it has also brought to the fore existing words that previously loitered mainly in specialist circles. One such word is ‘efficacy’—as in, “the vaccine has an efficacy of X%”. The word just means the capacity something has to do what it's meant to do.
So what gives ministry its efficacy? Have a look with me at what the Apostle Paul has to say in 2 Corinthians 3:
Paul says of the Corinthians that their life in Christ is “a letter from Christ delivered by us” (v 3). So he clearly feels he played a part.
But then he denies any suggestion that he and the other apostles/ministers are “sufficient [NIV ‘competent’] in ourselves” (v 5). No, he says, “our sufficiency [competence] is from God” and the ministry efficacy only comes from the Spirit writing the word of God on “tablets of human hearts” (vv 3, 6).
It’s a good reminder about why prayer is the most vital of the four central Ps of ministry (prayer, people, proclamation, perseverance). It's the top priority in any disciple-making endeavour.