Too many times in my short ministry career I have ended up exhausted at the starting gates. I’ve shown up on Sundays tired from working all day Friday or Saturday because “NO ONE” else was gonna do it. Or I have led capital campaigns and building projects and worked unGodly hours because it “HAD TO BE DONE”. I even saw myself as a martyr, sacrificing for the cause of Christ. But at the end of the projects when I was supposed to be excited and ready to roll I wasn’t. I lacked joy and energy because of the pace that I picked and the methods that I chose. I robbed my wife of her husband, my kids of their dad, myself of joy but most of all I robbed God of the opportunity to grow my faith.
You see, I believed that what I was doing would lead people to an amazing God that would radically change their lives but I wasn’t allowing Him to radically change mine. I didn’t trust Him to take what I was doing in the natural and make it super natural. I didn’t believe that He could make up the difference between what I could give Him during reasonable work hours and make it come across as excellent. I made the decision on what “WE” needed to do every weekend or project instead of God defining that. I didn’t bring people with me and allow them to use their giftings, I just judged them for not taking initiative like me.
So in my ignorance and lack of faith I tried to do God’s part and totally disregarded His Word. I didn’t rest when He said rest. I tried to lead other families before I led my own. I didn’t equip the saints and If I can be really honest, it wasn’t that fun (rewarding absolutely, fun, not so much).
Which brings me to today. I can say with all honesty that for the first time in ministry, I am having fun and enjoying the ride. God is doing some amazing things in our church, in our city, in my family and I am loving it all. What’s the difference? John 3:30 Less of me and more of Him and Colossians 3:1-2 Seeing things from God’s perspective not my own.
I have realized that there will always be more ministry to do and I can’t get it all done everyday. I have realized that God doesn’t ever want your family, your health, your rest, your relationships to suffer because you are in ministry. I have realized that people are the most important thing to God so they should be to me as well. Projects and processes help us reach more people and are very important but they are never more important than the people, especially the people right in front of us.
Some good questions to ask God are:
- Are you pleased with my efforts today?
- What changes do I need to make?
- How do you see this situation?
Hope this helps someone!