Have you ever heard of a nervous nellie? Its origin supposedly has to do with horses that were high strung. They should have been sent to that girl over at Heartland. She seems to have a great way with horses.
This monicker seems to have been made famous by President Johnson. In 1966, he used the name “Nervous Nellie” to identify those who criticized his Vietnam policy. From there, it took on a negative connotation.
Negative. That’s where my familiarity lies with these Nellies. I have come into contact with too many Negative Nellies in regards to the ministry. These are individuals who rarely look on the bright side and are quick to point out the difficulties of serving God through vocational ministry.
Oh, I’m not talking about those who are outside of the church and the pulpit. Too many among the called of God into the ministry ranks can be such “Debbie Downers” about Kingdom work.
Forget the dark side. With a grateful heart, it’s time to loiter in the light and be grateful for what a blessing it is to be among the called of God into the ministry ranks.
- God could have called me to be a brick mason or a mortgage broker. “Every house is built by someone, but He who built all things is God” (Hebrews 3:4). He could have called me to be an English teacher or an attorney. But instead, He called me into the ministry and I thank Him. Eternity matters more than houses, commas, and contracts. Christ Jesus our Lord “has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry” (1 Timothy 1:12) and I am thankful.
- In well over two decades of ministry, I have been exposed to and involved in many various things. Vocational ministers are like general practitioners at life. We end up knowing a little bit about everything and a whole lot about people and I am thankful.
- I get to talk with God about people and then I talk with people about God. Through praying, preaching, writing, and teaching I get to help people every day. Sure, there are more details but that encapsulates it all. For me, there couldn’t be a more blessed life to live. Ministry can be a busy lifestyle, but it is never boring and I am thankful.
- God is my daily provider. My dependence is upon Him for every stitch of clothing and every dollar that passes through my hands. Guess what? He’s never let me down! God called ministers are not in it for the money. We love it so much that we often serve pro bono. Somedays, I worry about my retirement. However, I can trust God for retirement provisions since He has my eternal welfare in His care. He’s my Jehovah-Jireh Who sees to my provisions and I am thankful.
- As a minister, I answer to the highest authority – the One who called me. Because of that, I willingly submit myself to the leadership of those He has placed over me. Such submission ensures my unction to function. Consequently, I am anointed by the Holy Spirit to do the works which God has called me to do and I am thankful.
Is God dealing with you about entering into the ministry? You’re either called or crazy! But if you’re called, you’re probably a little crazy too. That’s okay. God has a place of service for you. Come on over and help us. The ministerial waters are fine. You’ll be glad you did.
At the end of every day, I know that ministry matters. My service rendered to the Lord, in order to help others, makes a difference. I am thankful that God has placed me in the ministry and has enabled me to work for Him.
Ministers, it’s time to stop listening to the Negative Nellies and Debbie Downers. Be grateful that God called you and gifted you to serve Him.
Finally, “whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ” (Colossians 3:23-24). Be grateful and faithful because your ministry matters and I am thankful for you.