Updated: Mar 28, 2019
Continuing from my previous post on Isaiah 6, I'll have a look at the Jonah narrative to see what ministry lessons I can learn.
1. God Does Not Choose the Best, So You Can Relax Now It's hard to see a more unqualified person than Jonah at that time. Jonah was stubborn, angry, and didn't have a good heart. Calling Jonah was like calling someone to be a pastor when he hates all of his congregation! Yet God called him, not some other prophets. Sometimes God calls not because of your motivation, but God calls you despite of your motivation. Because God is calling someone to His mission. 2. God is Gracious Enough that He Chases You I'm sure God could have easily picked another prophet when Jonah ran away. I'm sure there are other prophets who genuinely had a heart for the lost people of Nineveh. God could have left Jonah alone, yet He pursued him. God wouldn't let him alone. God called Jonah back into His mission out of mercy. God didn't chase Jonah because He needed him, but God pursued Jonah because He loved him.
3. Unlike Isaiah, God Might Call You into Something Great The biggest contrast of Isaiah's ministry compared to Jonah's was the result. While Isaiah had the heart to serve, he didn't have the best outcome. Here Jonah didn't have the heart to serve but the whole town repented! Sometimes God calls you to something great, but this is only to show that He is God and you are not. I can tell you that Nineveh did not repent because of a grumpy, self-centered, angry, and incompassionate prophet. Nineveh repented because of God. Your success in ministry has nothing to do with you; it's all God.
4. God Cares for the Masses, God Cares for the Individual Although there are millions of people saved, the story starts and ends with Jonah. God did not use Jonah only as a means to His end. God did not merely use Jonah as a tool to accomplish His mission. God made sure that Jonah knows His mercy and grace even though millions of people have repented. God always cares for that one more person. God does not only care about His relationship with your congregation, God also cares about His relationship with you.