Addicted to Ministry



1 Corinthians 16:15

“… ye know the house of Stephanas, that is the firstfruits of Achaia, and that they have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints.”


Wouldn’t having more Stephanas’ in the church be great today? There are a lot of addicts in the world. Our country has been plagued with drug addictions, alcohol addictions, food addictions, and even some like the rich young ruler in Mark chapter 10 who was addicted to his accumulated treasures of riches and materialism.


I have learned this: everyone is addicted to something. Addiction is killing our country. For most of the world, addiction is something sinful, but it would be good to see someone, some family, who would addict themselves to something wholesome and sanctified, like the house of Stephanus.


The word “addiction” in the KJV has the idea of being brought under the authority of a substance or, in the case of this text, a spiritual behavior. Addictions often start as a habit. Dopamine is released in the brain that processes reward and reinforcement of the behavior. It moves from habit to dependence. Dependence leads to tolerance, which leads you into a spiral of wanting and needing more. There is a craving in the body to feed the addiction. Again, many of these addictions are self-focused rather than others focused.


Here is a man who was addicted, and that addiction is praised in the Bible; it was an addiction “to the ministry of the saints.” He was gloriously saved! His life was Spirit-filled, and he began to serve. This addiction was infectious because it had a profound impact on all the families they wanted to serve, too. They took the two great commands of Jesus seriously (Matthew 22:36-40): love God with every fiber of your being and love your neighbor as yourself.


There are three implications here: First, they were INVOLVED. Second, they were INVESTED. Finally, they were INVALUABLE.


  • INVOLVED: This family devoted themselves to this ministry. When God begins to work in people’s lives, HE transforms them from being self-centered and self-focused to being Christ-centered and others-oriented in their service. Any ministry in or outside of the church will always be a ministry of giving.

Ministry requires work and the involvement of people dedicated to serving the body of Christ. The reward is pleasing God, and the reinforcement is seeing how we make a difference.


  • INVESTED: This was not something that was started and then stopped when interest was lost. It was not something that they were trying to see if it worked. The household of Stephanas addicted themselves to the ministry in good times and bad, in the ups and downs. This ministry was not circumstance-driven or results-oriented; it was Holy Spirit-empowered. The household of Stephanus made a personal choice to addict themselves to the ministry for the glory of God.


  • INVALUABLE: The result of them addicting themselves to the ministry is the fruit that came out of it. I believe that many people were saved because of their work. Others benefit from our service, but we also benefit from the ministry’s growth.


What are you addicted to?