The enemy is a crafty fellow. If his first attempt to derail a person from ministry work fails, he alters his approach. If he cannot roadblock the Lord’s call, he whispers lies so close to the truth that we easily swallow them. Have you heard or believed any of these lies?
1. Growth equals health
It’s true that healthy things grow, but numbers alone can’t measure health.
Growth is sometimes shown in increased attendance, but it is always shown in maturity and a growing desire for the Lord and a pursuit of holiness. Your organization might explode into the thousands or it might produce slow and steady fruit in the lives of the people sitting under the ministry.
If we could measure success solely on numbers, what do we do with the thousands of people listening to a motivational speaker that tickles the ears but fails to penetrate the heart with gospel truth? Yes, healthy things grow, but so do cancers and tumors. Not all growth is healthy.
2. Working with believers is easy
“When fallen and sinful people minister to fallen and sinful people in a fallen and sinful world, relationships get messy. Imperfect people clash. Sinful people hurt and get hurt. Emotions run high and opinions are strong in ministry.
However, ministry can also be a beautiful place where these same imperfect people have an opportunity to connect with a perfect God, and through His grace learn to genuinely love each other. Ministry can be a place of joy as we serve one another through the power of a surrendered heart that values others above self” (Glorious Surrender, 2016).
In many ways, ministry is both the hardest and the easiest thing I’ve ever done. It’s hard to seek forgiveness and restoration, humbly admitting wrong, but when all people fix their eyes on Jesus it ceases to be about us and becomes what it was always meant to be: about the Lord. That is beautiful.
3. Thinking, “I’ve got this.”
No, you don’t. I could stop typing here because it’s really that simple. You don’t “have this”. You will never “have this”, and the minute you think you “have this” that very thought is evidence that you don’t. Jesus has this. Only Jesus builds his church.
“I may have been used in many God-glorifying ways, but the credit does not belong to me— it belongs fully to Christ. Only Christ has the authority to build His church. Not a man. Not a small group of people. Not a program. Only Jesus. There is great freedom in knowing that while we carry responsibility, it’s ultimately not up to me, or you” (Glorious Surrender).
Our job is faithfulness to the one message He has called us to proclaim – Jesus resurrected.
Lord, may our focus ALWAYS be Christ. As we fix our hearts and minds on Him, may He expose lies and build up with truth.
John 8:44, Romans 12:18, Philippians 4:13, 1 Corinthians 1:31
Read more about her book “Glorious Surrender”