Recently I noted in my journal seven things that I honestly feel each minister…heck, EACH CHRIST FOLLOWER must be willing to do if we want to have an effective ministry / lead an effective life.
(I took this out of John 14-16, some of the richest teachings of Jesus…in my opinion!)
#1 – We Have Got To Be Willing To Serve – John 13:1-5
I often joke with my people that I do not have the spiritual gift of mercy or compassion; however, that is not an excuse for me to be unmerciful in all that I do.
There are times when we are called out of our comfort zone…and our gift zone…to serve people in a way we’ve never served them before. We must be willing to be stretched this way by the Holy Spirit and the needs of others.
If anything is “beneath” us…then we truly are not beneath Christ!
#2 – We Must Be Willing To Love – John 13:34-35
Christians fight too much–period!
Jesus said that the world will know we are His by the love we have for one another.
When someone doesn’t believe the particular brand of theology we embrace…we need to love them anyway. I am begging God to raise up a generation of leaders who do not feel that everyone needs to be the same…and who are secure enough to learn from people who do not believe exactly like them.
Jesus didn’t say they will know we are His disciples by the way we blog against one another OR attack one another…but by the love we have for one another.
As I mature I am learning that I can love a brother or sister in Christ without having to agree with everything they say.
#3 – We’ve Got To Be Willing To Trust – John 14:1
If I could apply this verse my life would be so much better!!!
We live in a world that is completely out of control…and because of that we often make the mistake of thinking that God has lost control.
But reality is this (if you are in ministry) – God wants your church to grow more than you want it to! God wants your life to be abundant way more than you do…
One of the mistakes I have made so often is thinking that if I don’t preach well that the Kingdom of God is in danger…not true.
One of my sins is that I take myself way to seriously. Sure, I need to spend time studying and preparing for the message…but at the end of the day I’ve got to trust that God is going to do all that I cannot do!
And so…there needs to come a point where we desperately trust Him…even though we may not be able to see Him!
The world needs way less of me…WAY more of Him! (John 3:30)
#4 – We’ve Got To Dream Big – John 14:12
Out of all the verses in Scripture that both excite and confuse me–this one takes the cake.
However, I believe what Jesus said here is true…and so one of the things I always want to be accused of is dreaming big.
How about you? For some reason the children of the King are the smallest dreamers on the planet.
And personally..I’ve seen way too many people live for lesser dreams when God has an Ephesians 3:20 life that is merely a prayer away!
I personally think the church should be outdoing Netflix and Disney! I think we have not only the ability to create…but the POWER of the HOLY SPIRIT! Having Him actually empowers us to both dream big and then accomplish the very dreams that He placed inside of us!
I believe God wants MORE for the church…and I want to see what Jesus was talking about in this verse happen!
#5 – We’ve Got To Be Willing To Stay Connected – John 14:15, John 14:21, John 15:5
Jesus said if we love Him that we will obey Him…but the only way to do this is by staying connected with Him on a consistent basis.
I believe that satan doesn’t want to necessarily make us sin…he just wants to get us so busy that we don’t have time to consistently connect with Christ.
When I travel my computer will often flash up a message, “You are about to lose power–please connect to a power source and recharge your battery before you lose everything.”
DANG…I think Jesus was saying that same thing in John 15:5!
One of the biggest temptations of a Christian leader is to become busy. Most of us have cell phones and gadgets strapped around our belt…we don’t look like a Christian leader – we look like flippin’ Batman. I once read, “If I were satan I would invent a device that people carried that made sure their calendar was always in front of them!”
The enemy can make us so busy that we don’t necessarily sin…we just don’t have the time to live our lives in complete obedience!
#6 – We’ve Got To Be Willing To Play When We Are Hurt – John 15:18
Life hurts…pastors and Christians are often carrying wounds with them…but–we CAN’T GIVE UP!
Jesus went to a cross…and took a beating before He went. The least we can do is endure a little criticism and being kicked out of the social club at work and school!
Leaders: if you are leading then you will be condemned and criticized…move on…play hurt…and talk to God a lot about it. David, a man after God’s own heart, did in the Psalms. He was so honest with God that it scares me just a little.
Leaders–we need to play when we are hurt. If the devil takes us out it needs to be done in WAY more dramatic fashion that a blogger, and anonymous letter or a church member on his 4th church because “he can’t find one to meet his needs!”
#7 – We’ve Got To Be Willing To Be Spirit Led – John 16:12-14
One of the most awesome privileges of following Christ is having Jesus with me every single day through the presence of His Holy Spirit.
I am NEVER alone…and I do not have to figure life out all by myself.
I always advise leaders and Christians to take some time to pray…and then LISTEN. I believe that God is ALWAYS speaking…but many times we aren’t listening, thus being the reason that we miss Him at times.
I have made SO many mistakes in life when I didn’t listen to the Spirit’s leadership!