High Quality In Ministry

Early 1999




Ajith Fernando


A few days ago I got our licences for 1999 for our van and home radios. I reflected afresh on the fact that, while it seems that the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation gets most of the funds from that, we hardly listen to SLBC at home. Last week I asked a group of teenagers about this and found that they never listen to SLBC unless it broadcasts sports commentaries. With the opening of private radio stations in the past few years, people have had a choice about what they will listen to. And most of them, especially the youth, have chosen the private stations as they feel that they produce programmes of better quality.


Our people are certainly more discerning about quality today than before. But this places on us a huge responsibility to produce high quality programmes in the church. When we add to this the sad fact that people today are less prone to value long term commitments, we realise that we are placed with an even bigger challenge. Many would go elsewhere or nowhere if they feel the quality of our programmes in church is sub-standard.


Yet there are other reasons for the need for high quality preaching and programming in the church apart from the pragmatic one given above. Everything we do is done for the glory of our great and majestic God (1 Cor 10:31). This is particularly true of programmes that specifically represent God, which encompasses all the activities of the church. All church programmes must therefore clearly reflect the greatness of God. After coming for a Christian programme people should say, “What a great God the Christians have!”


Besides, the Bible urges us to excel in the way we do ministry. This is specifically stated in 1 Timothy 4:13-16 and clearly implied in the detailed instructions given in the Old Testament about how to conduct worship and about the people, the music, the buildings and the implements involved in worship. Some people are set apart for performing the special functions of worship so that they could have time to practice and improve their skills. We miss this important biblical emphasis if we neglect spending time with books like Exodus and Leviticus.


Yet there is a difference between the motivations for quality in the church and the world. Today’s markets operate on the principle of competition where one group tries to overtake another through better performance and marketing. When Christians approach other Christian groups with such a spirit of competition they grossly violate the biblical teaching about the body of Christ—a teaching often neglected by us Evangelical Christians. Yet Christians do compete—not with others but with our high standards and with our own selves. We try hard to do the best that we could possibly do through God’s grace, so that God will be glorified by our programmes and by our communication of truth.


If the Bible talks a lot about the need for high quality in programming it talks much more about the need for high quality in godly living. This is a goal we must strive toward with even more intense commitment (see 1 Tim. 4:7-12). But that is not the topic of this article. In CTS we are committed to sending to the church ministers who live godly lives and generate high quality proclamation and programming. Please pray that the leaders of CTS would be faithful in doing all they can to accomplish this goal.