One of the great privileges and most rewarding opportunities you can experience serving another man’s ministry is found in the secret of being a proactive servant.
A proactive person is defined as one who “creates or controls a situation by causing something to happen rather than responding to it after it has happened”.
A fruitful, effective disciple is much more than an order taker. After proving yourself faithful over time a foundation of trust is established which is the key ingredient required to move from a relationship of simple service to becoming a proactive partner.
I will never forget Moscow, 1989.
For 14 consecutive years prior, from the platform of the world renowned Royal Albert Hall, Dr Cerullo prophesied Russia’s iron curtain would come down and the Soviet Union would open in an unprecedented way to the preaching of the gospel.
In the late 1980’s that is precisely what began to happen as a movement for the democratization of the Soviet Union referred to as “Perestroika” was being championed by then General Secretary of the Communist Party, Mikhail Gorbachev.
The beep of the fax machine at my desk in our European office in the Fall of 1989, signaled an incoming communication. As I began to read, I discovered that it was an invitation from the President of the Russian Pentecostal Union, Rev Bilas Roman, asking Brother Cerullo to be the first to come to Moscow in the Perestroika era to conduct an open public crusade.
Immediately I shared the invitation with Dr. Cerullo and made flight arrangements to meet with Rev. Bilas and his leaders to begin to make the plans for this historic invitation.
We settled on a date in December at the historic 7,000 seat Izmailovo Auditorium in the outskirts of Moscow.
When the time came, I arrived in Moscow with Dr. Cerullo the day before as he was scheduled to appear on the Moscow News that evening. An interview that was set to fill a one or two minute segment was mightily visited by the presence of God and extended to nearly 30 minutes! The host was so deeply touched that she asked Dr Cerullo to pray for the viewers to receive the miracle of salvation, and then followed that with a request for Dr Cerullo to pray for all viewers that were in need of physical healing.
The phones there at the news station immediately were jammed with callers testifying to God’s saving and healing power. God was beginning to shake the nation right before our eyes…
That night when our interpreter returned to his apartment, he was met by his elderly atheist neighbor who waited for him to return, to testify that when Dr Cerullo prayed, she experienced a deep heat in her back and an immediate healing from years of a debilitating spinal condition! Right there on her porch, she prayed with our translator to receive Christ as Savior!
The next afternoon, even after opening the doors three hours early and filling the Izmailovo Auditorium to capacity, the crowds were still ten-deep encircling the entire arena with great expectancy and frustration that they could not get in.
The police insisted that the church leaders convince Dr. Cerullo to cancel the meeting so that they could disperse the people, who had now begun to damage the property, breaking panes of glass, etc, in an effort to force themselves into the building.
The top leaders approached me and requested to speak with Dr Cerullo about the security problems and to make the request that he postpone the meeting.
My job was to not disturb Dr Cerullo with a negative report before a meeting, but to simply solve it myself so that he is able to stay focused and uninterrupted prior to the service.
This was an opportunity for me to be proactive and not disturb the servant of God who was in his customary time of prayer, fasting and preparation for the meeting.
With the Russian leaders standing before me shaken, I quietly prayed for God’s wisdom.
Here’s what I recommended to the leaders:
What if we take the many boxes containing 5,000 brand new Bibles we had delivered in the arena to give to the new converts, and take them outside to the people that couldn’t get in with the promise that Dr Cerullo would come back to Moscow again soon in a larger stadium for another meeting?
The leaders shook their heads in agreement. We handed the boxes of Bibles to the police who brought them out to the people. The people scooped the Bibles up as if they had just won the lottery! They were happy to receive them and peace was restored when they heard that Dr Cerullo would return to Moscow for another meeting in the near future.
That night was one of the most glorious services I have ever been a part of. As Brother Cerullo brought the simple message of the gospel, nearly all of the 7,000 present received the greatest miracle in all the world, the miracle of forgiveness of sins and the healing of their souls through the salvation of the blood of Jesus Christ!
Several months later we returned to Moscow, this time in the 15,000 seat Olympic Stadium, for three capacity nights – nearly 50,000 precious Russians combined giving their lives to Christ!
The Apostle Paul said, “I have planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that planteth anything, neither he that watereth, but God that giveth the increase” (I Cor 3:6-7)
As the mentor/mentee relationship grows over time, you will know the heart of the man or woman you are serving and what he or she would expect in certain situations.
This knowledge makes you a much more valuable servant and you are able to move from a place of simply waiting for instructions to becoming a creative contributor to the overall vision and purpose of your leader and their ministry.
While Dr Cerullo is the unquestioned visionary and strong spiritual leader of MCWE, one of his great strengths as a mentor is his humility and expectation that his key team members operate with an authority and spiritual license to bring their creative ideas and input to the table on any and all aspects of the ministry.
It takes the investment and trust of a great mentor to know when and how much authority his servant can successfully be released to handle.
A man can only truly be responsible and accountable for the success of that which he perceives he has authority for.
Some of the most successful outreaches of MCWE through the years were a result of the synergy between Dr Cerullo and our team that fueled our passion and creativity to bring “God ideas” and suggestions to our leader — many that were implemented with great spiritual fruit.
However, a word to the wise: Be ready when bringing an idea to be willing to become responsible for personally filling it!
Are you ready to take your next step in serving another person’s ministry? If there is a need in your church or ministry that you see is not being filled, maybe it is God calling you to be proactive and volunteer to fill it — and not waiting for someone else to do so — or for you to be asked!
Now is your season to soar as a proactive servant!
(The above is an excerpt from “The Blessing of Serving Another Man’s Ministry: Seven Serving Secrets That Will Sentence You To Success”, available on Amazon.com starting at $2.99 http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1932579230 Discounted bulk copies available direct from author at firstname.lastname@example.org Join Greg’s Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/TheBlessingOfServingAnotherMansMinistry)