As I think about the ministry values that animate my ministry, three things come to mind. Not coincidentally, these are the things about which we talk a lot at Covenant Seminary.
First, the Word of God. All of our ministry must be centered on God's Word--and especially, we must have confidence in the ordinary means of grace in which, during corporate worship on the Lord's Day, the Spirit uses his Word to transform our hearts. All our praying and preaching, our singing and use of the sacraments, are biblical and "bibline." This is not because the Bible itself is a talisman; rather, because it is God's Word--in coming to God's Word, we come to hear and respond to God himself.
Next, the Grace of God. As we come to God's Word, we hear the King speak, telling us that there is nothing we have that we did not receive; that his steadfast love is undeserved and freely given; that it is all of grace from the beginning of our lives to the end. The same grace that drew us to Christ is the same grace that justifies us which is the same grace that sanctifies, adopts, and preserves us to the end.
Such love frees us from fear--the King, who knows us completely, who knows us by name, loves us, sings over us, and delights in us for his glory's sake and for his name's sake! What a king this is! How it should enliven our worship--the King we serve loves us despite ourselves! How it is should enliven our service--what we wouldn't sacrifice for such a King and for such love! In fact, the grace of God should produce hope and joy in our hearts: hope--that earnest expectation that our King will care for us to the end; joy--the strength of God and delight in God that severs the root of sin and frees us to serve him all our days.
So, finally, the Kingdom of God. Because the King, by his Word, bids us to come into his presence and sustains us by his means of grace, and because he showers us with grace upon grace, we are freed to enter into his world as agents of the new creation, signs of what the new heavens and new earth will look like. We are freed to serve in our callings as pointers to the mercies and kindness of God and freed to serve our communities as agents of what God is doing in his world.
Only as we keep these three linked together--God's Word, grace, and kingdom--will we reflect Jesus' priorities for ministry and sustain the work of God in our generation: by his grace and for his glory!