Ministry can be a difficult and sometimes maddening calling to pursue. Even though I haven’t experienced every facet of ministry in totality, I can say I have been there, done that in regards to most of the ministry’s ins and outs.
I understand the struggles that most preachers are dealing with and I desire to be a Barnabas. The wisdom I’m sharing in this post is my way of encouraging my fellow preachers and church leaders as you serve Jesus and His Church.
The writer of Proverbs instructs, “Listen to counsel and receive instruction, That you may be wise in your latter days” (19:20). Enjoy these bold bits and feel free to share them.
- Your public leadership will be equal to your private study and prayer. You need large blocks of time reserved for alone time with God and His Word. The reality of your public anointing is tied to your times of solitude.
- Let your sermons insist upon and rest in the authority of Scripture. This might mean that those who dislike the Bible won’t like your preaching either. If you have to choose between pleasing God and pleasing man, stick with the One who called you.
- Watch your mouth. God didn’t call you to be mean with your words. Yes, you are called to speak the truth in love, but please filter the truth through the golden rule. Let your words serve to edify others and be seasoned with grace.
- Leave them wanting more. The best compliment you could ever hear is something like, “I wish you’d preached more of that.” Or, “I sure hope you’ll be back soon.” But, the reality is that “God’s people do not enjoy hearing us half as much as we enjoy hearing ourselves” (Warren W. Wiersbe). Get over yourself and stop preaching before they stop listening.
- Do not insist upon miraculous results in every public ministry time. Believe in them and ask for them. But preach the Gospel, teach solid doctrine, and let God choose when and how He manifests His power. “Miracles don’t prove the Gospel. They express the Gospel” (Dr. Jon Ruthven).
- Be an example and a leader worth following. Ask yourself something like this often, “would I want to follow someone like me?” Paid staff are under some obligation to comply with your direction. Most likely, you will serve more volunteers than paid staff and that takes more diplomacy and tact. There is no paycheck attached to the volunteer so they must want to follow your lead.
- Stay humble. Regardless of how gifted you are do not insist that others show you honor. Stay as humble as you were when God found you and called you. Insist that any good you do is because of Him. The only place where you should expect to find honor before humility is in the dictionary. If you remain humble, God will honor you at the right time and use you greatly. See Proverbs 15:33.
To encourage literally means to inspire courage. I pray that you are encouraged to take great action for God. Whatever you do, don’t be “like the horse or like the mule, Which have no understanding, Which must be harnessed with bit and bridle” (see Psalm 32:8-9).
Have you found some encouragement in these bits of wisdom? Which one really stood out? Comment below and let’s talk about it.
Read more about preaching from a different perspective by clicking here.
Pray with me. “Father, I remain in Your call. Help me to be faithful, work hard, and allow that original passion to compel me. Please grant me the courage to walk in the wisdom of Your ways. I trust that I will be led by Your Holy Spirit as I stay in your Holy Word. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”