So, we’re going through this series of sixteen lessons that I’ve learned from 16 years in ministry. For this particular series the weekly devotionals on YouTube – which you can find here – will be following along with these themes. Last week we looked at the first four lessons, you can find those here, and today we’re continuing with the second lot of four – these are in no particular order of importance.
Here we go:
1. Don’t let people bully you and push you around.
In life there are always going to be people who will be mean to you, that is just the nature of living in a fallen world. Not only that, along with the mean ones there will be people who will try to assert their will over you, to get you to do what they want you to do, whether that is right or wrong. There are always people with their own agenda, and the sad thing is that often these people end up in positions of leadership. What you need to have the courage to do is the right thing. You need to have the courage, the tenacity, the stubbornness to do the thing that GOD has called you to do, the thing that He is calling you to do right now. How do you do that? You build a habit of it by doing it in the little things, by doing it in the things that aren’t a big deal, so that when the big deals come, you’ll know exactly how God wants you to act, and you’ll do it instinctively.
2. If you can talk the talk, you need to be able to walk the walk.
This second one is a way to ensure that you do the things that need to be done when they need to be done, like in the point above. There are many people around these days who can talk a good game, who can, apparently, do almost anything. You need to make sure that if you make a claim to be able to do something, that you can back it up with actions. This applies not only in practical ministry areas, like claiming you can preach when you never have, but in areas of morality, like claiming that you always tell the truth, yet you are rather free with what you consider ‘truth.’
You must develop the discipline to do the things that you claim to be able to do, never try and bluff your way into a position, this is why you start at the bottom.
3. Daily, deep, intentional time with God is important.
This is another way that we can make sure that we know the right thing to do, another way that we can be strong when people are asking something that we are not sure about. We must be connected to the vine, we must spend deep time in the presence of God. We must learn to hear His voice, we must make a practice of realising that He is always present, that He is waiting to help us, that He wants to talk to us. Practice listening. Find some time throughout the day to just be in the presence of God. Discover some different ways of praying, of dwelling on the Scripture, take your time with God deeper each day. You will only be able to give out what you have, ministry flows out of your relationship with God. Make sure that you spend at least 20 minutes a day pursuing Jesus.
4. Relationships are the most important thing that you can foster.
If you want longevity and effectiveness in your ministry, then you must, must, must build relationships with those you lead. The domain of relationships is where leadership and ministry happens. It is only though relating to people, by listening to them, by understanding their point of view, and by honouring them, will you be able to lead effectively. If you know their needs, their life situation, if they feel that you genuinely care about them, then they will accept your help, advice, and leadership. There is nothing more important to being an effective minister than cultivating deep relationships with the people you lead.
So there are the second four things that I have learned. I’d love to hear your thoughts and feedback. What is the top lesson that you have learned in you ministry? What is the lesson that you are learning right now?