Essentials of an Effective Ministry

1 Corinthians 16

Jerry A Collins




Ø      What kind of giving should I do for God?

Ø      How can I help to refresh people’s lives?

Ø      What are some characteristics of godly leaders?


When leaving the house for the nite we often leave final instructions or when going out the door say ‘remember to cook the food at 350 or don’t forget bedtime or make sure that you get your homework done.’ Those final thots that help summarize what is most important at that moment. In our passage we have at least 10 commands being given to the people in the church I Corinth. Final instructions to the church as this letter comes to an end. Those thots summed up and clarifying that last important thing to remember. These are the essentials of an effective ministry. Those things that will make for significant ministry. In 1 Corinthians 16, we have some of those things listed for us.


Here we have several principles which should govern our giving for people in need as well as the ministry of the church. As background to this instruction: (1) Acts 9:27 Barnabas 1st xian to take interest in Paul. Acts 11:25-26 he sought Paul to labor with him in Antioch. Paul’s concern for welfare of the poor must have begun with this association. (2) Leaders in Jerusalem urged Paul to care for the poor Gal 2:7, 9-10. Paul even preached that our lives should be marked by generosity toward poor Gal 6:10; Rom 12:13; Eph 4:28. (3) He faithfully instructed Gentile believers to contribute to needs of poor in Jerusalem Rom 15:25-27. I seems that money was important to Paul because it could be used to demonstrate Christian love and fellowship to one another in the body of Christ. So here he instructs about gving. First the problem to be solved vs 1. The Jerusalem believers suffered greatly from poverty Rom 12:25-27; 2 Cor 8 & 9. Because of famine or poor widows or orphans who needed to be cared for. Then persecution also brot on poverty from unbelieving Jews . These had rejected Christ already Mt 12, engineered his crucifixion Mt 26, stoned Stephen Acts 6, intent on stamping out Christianity Acts 4 & v5. So if anyone was going to help the needy saints here it would have to be the Gentile xians for no help was coming from unbelieving Jews. Second, the process to be followed vs 2. Each xian is encouraged to set savings aside until a large enough amount accumulated. Then it would be used and dispersed as needed. Everyone responsible for this ‘each one of you’. No matter how little or how much he had t give. Either way it was a decision before the Lord systematically carried out every week. No amount is specified b given without pressure but instruction. Third, the presentation of this gift reflect necessary precautions vs 3. Funds can be misused, like Judas having hand in the till. The money would be delivered in organized fashion. So

(1) The poor should have priority in our giving. So in your storehouse giving do not neglect the poor! Those who lack the necessities

(2) We should prepare ourselves to give. Giving with a purpose and a plan. That was laid out here in our passage. Having money set aside to meet the needs of people you come in contact with.


Here is an announcement of a slight change in plans to visit Corinth. It is an important contribution travel makes for the church of the Lord around the world. First, it appears his travel plans had changed due to various circumstances (perhaps, wish, hope, permits) all these indicate this. Originally intended to visit briefly on way to Macedonia (2 Cor 1:15-16). But revised it for afterward and a longer stay thru winter 16:6. Second, suspected that any delay in his coming would be used by his opponents to discredit him 2 Cor 1:15-18. Paul wanted them to know he was determined to come 16:7. Third, his change of plans is the result of circumstances in Ephesus. We learn from vs 8 that he was in Ephesus when he wrote this letter. He chose to extend his stay there because of the ‘open door’ of opportunity that was available t him vs 9. Luke informs us that this ministry lasted three years there Acts 19:10, 20:31. In addition to opportunity, opposition compelled him to remain at Ephesus longer than he had first intended 16:9. Fourth, possibly a delay would give Corinthians time t correct many of the issues raised in Paul’s letter to them. With those corrections that would make his visit a much more pleasant one and also encourage the emergence of godly leaders there taking initiative for this sort of thing 2 Cor 1:23-24. The obedience of Corinthians would be better proven during his absence rather than waiting for   him  to  deal  with them himself. This would assist them to become stronger rather than dependent upon an itinerant leader like Paul. (This is what they are doing in church in Skhoder).  


Timothy is going to arrive in Corinth and this visit must be facilitated by compassion and cooperation 10-11. The Corinths loved rhetoric, persuasive speech. Timothy had to be persuaded to stir up his gift. Corinths were proud and arrogant. Timothy was shy and reticent. Corinths had no fear of opposing one as great as apostle Paul. Timothy was going to have to confront them as Paul’s representative. No wonder he found it necessary to give these believers specific instructions regarding Timothy and his visit to them. Then concerning Apollos, in vs 12, his absencewas result of his own decision not to come now even tho Paul had insisted vs 12. He was a man who knew when to take advice and when to refuse it. Yet he was a humble enough man to have received instruction from a tent-maker and his wife, Aquila and Priscilla Acts 18:25-26.


In absence of powerful personalities like Pal and Apollos, they must learn to stand up and be counted 13-14. The had asserted selves when should have shown restraint 6:1ff. Were passive when should have purged evil in church 5:1-8. Now with issues clear the time had come for them to act. Pointing out wrongs needing correction, they must change. So here in one final charge he says act on it, do what is rite. No more complacency—carry out your calling.


If this church going to straighten out must begin from top down. Ungodly leaders removed and godly ones taking their place 15-18. Stephanas is cited as a model xian leader. He and his household 1st converts in Corinth 1 Cor 1:15-16. He had refreshed Paul b his coming vs 18. These 2 men provided Paul with a little bit of Corinth vs 17. He loved those people. He should be followed since he was (1) a leader in his household. (2) Actively participated in ministry. (3) His service beneficial to others 18. So, Stephanus and these others should be recognized among the Corinthians as leaders they should follow vs 16.

1. We should learn the value of a visit. Here are contributions of personal visits. Stephanua and companiosn bring news, Timothy brings report, Apollos will bring further instruction. (Overseas returns)

2. We should understand value of godly leadership. Proven maturity-ones leading by serving. Recognise these and value them.

3. We should plan biblically. Plan like going to live next 50 yrs and live as if today last day I have James 4:13-16. God is in control of our plans.