You can’t fire a cannon from a canoe

Today I came across an interesting quote coined by a Canadian strength coach of all people “You can’t fire a cannon from a canoe”. He was referring to your body needing a stable core that enables a strong production of force.

Nope….I have not taken up body building BUT, I think this gives pretty good perspective on ministry too. Every gospel worker longs for strong, lasting, and deep impact. Church planters want to see healthy, vibrant churches. Youth leaders seek growing, passionate and Christ centred youth groups. Preachers want to stir a passion for God in the hearts of their listeners. Missionaries want to communicate good news effectively. Deacons want to serve efficiently. Sunday school teachers want to see Christ like character develop in the children they teach. If you are a Christian involved in any kind of ministry, in the church or outside, your desire should be for powerful impact BUT, you can’t fire a cannon from a canoe. You can’t be effective unless your ministry is rooted and made stable on a rock solid fortress. The canon of ministry needs to be fired from a position of strength.

This rock solid fortress is daily, personal, soul feeding time with the Lord. We call this our spiritual disciplines. It’s the reading of Scripture, spending time in prayer, confession, thanksgiving, praise, turning our gaze toward the God of heaven and earth. There is no substitute for this. Without this your ministry will be firing from a weak position and will not have lasting impact. Even worse, over time the canon of ministry will become burdensome, heavy and cause you to sink.

A.W. Tozer said “The highest accomplishment of humanity is entering the overwhelming presence of God. Nothing else can satiate this burning thirst”. Paul put it like this in Phil 3:10, “That I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death”.

Real ministry power is to be intimately connected to the source of all ministry. Remember Jesus’ words…“Without me you can do nothing” John 15:5

It’s not the size or success of your ministry that is important; it’s whether your ministry is grounded in a rock solid love, commitment and reverence for Christ.

Fire your ministry canons from a fortress, not a canoe.

3 Comments on “You can’t fire a cannon from a canoe”

  1. Sheesh AJ, that is a brilliant piece!!! Needed to read that just now! Thanks so much. Annie and I are super excited to see how God is going to use you guys in Japan!

    Like

  2. Its a great word picture. Enjoyed it. Thanks. I am wondering if this needs to be clarified though:”The canon of ministry needs to be fired from a position of strength.” What is strength in ministry? Being strong from doing the spiritual disciplines? And the value / necessity of weakness? Sterkte!! ha ha. Praying for you guys.

    Like

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