Preparation for Successful City Ministry
After two years, Pharaoh dreamt that seven ugly cows ate seven fat cows and seven thin ears were swallowed up by seven plump ears. No one, including all the Egyptian magicians and wise men, could interpret the dream, which troubled him (Gen. 41:1-8). Sense of need among key leaders opens doors and opportunities for city ministry.
The chief cupbearer remembered Joseph and told Pharaoh that he interpreted dreams accurately. The cupbearer was restored to office and baker hanged as Joseph predicted (Gen. 41:9-13). God sovereignly uses tough experiences and your gifting to serve Him strategically in the city.
When Pharaoh told Joseph that he heard about his ability to interpret dreams, the latter answered, “It is not in me; God will give Pharaoh a favorable answer." Pharaoh shared his dream with Joseph and said no one could explain it to him (Gen. 41:14-24). Listen to God and do what He says because ministry is not about you.
Prerequisites for Successful City Ministry
Joseph told Pharaoh that his two dreams revealed identical messages in emphasizing what God was about to do: seven years of great abundance in Egypt followed by seven years of famine. Repeating the dream twice meant God determined to bring about the events quickly. Joseph encouraged Pharaoh to look for a wise and discerning man to set over Egypt who could appoint overseers to exact a fifth of the land's produce during the seven abundant years to hold in reserve for the seven lean years, which would sustain people during famine (Gen. 41:25-36). God gives insights and strategies to influence leaders so they promote the welfare of the city's people.
The proposal seemed good to Pharaoh and he determined Joseph was the wise and discerning man to become secretary of agriculture or second in command in all of Egypt. Joseph was given the daughter of Potiphera priest of On, as his wife (Gen. 41:37-45). Sharing truths without drawing attention to yourself has the greatest potential to be adopted by those in authority.
The food Joseph gathered during the seven years of plenty that was stored in every city came from the surrounding fields in great abundance until he stopped measuring it (Gen. 41:46-49). Diligent preparation and executing strategy to serve local needs ensure success.
Before the year of famine, two sons were born to Joseph: Manasseh (God has made me forget all my trouble and all my father’s household) and Ephraim (God has made me fruitful in land of my affliction) (Gen. 41:50-52). God prioritizes inner healing and spiritual character over ministry competency.
Product of Successful City Ministry
Seven years of severe famine came after seven plentiful years in all the lands, but in Egypt there was bread, which Joseph sold to the Egyptians and all the earth (Gen. 41:53-57). Obeying God in performing your ministry leads to worldwide impact in solving society's real problems.
Answer these questions:
1. What tough experiences have you gone through (character and passion development)?
2. If you could do anything in your life and not have to worry about money, what would it be (passion)?
3. What are your primary gifts?
4. Do you notice any alignment between the answers to the above three questions?
5. Prayerfully consider the preparation, prerequisites and product of successful city ministry listed above along with timing to determine when, where and how God might be leading in serving Him in your city.