7 Years, 7 Lessons. (Part 1)
7 years ago, I entered ministry wide-eyed and wet behind the ears. I had grown up in the church that my parents planted, and now, I was about to be a part of it in a brand new way… as a staff member.
Looking back, ministry is a lot like marriage. I knew everything there was about it… until I actually started doing it.
In fact, it took only a few months to find out how little I really knew! After just a year of serving, our church of 25 years, began to go through some massive transitions. Our vision for the next 25 years was clarified, and a lot of really great people weren't prepared to go the rest of the way with us. This led to some painful pruning.
So… now that we are coming out on the other side. I thought it might be therapeutic to have a conversation about a few of the things I’ve learned along the way. I don’t pretend to have all the answers, and I’m positive the next 7 years will have a ton more to teach me.
Regardless of how long you’ve been involved in ministry, my prayer is that this will be an encouragement. Here is part 1 (Lessons 1-3):
1. It’s not what you earn – It’s what you learn: I heard this a few years back in a book by Andy Stanley. This was really liberating as a young husband and provider for my family.
To all of the young bucks out there… Remember, these early years are a strategic time to build a foundation. As we are faithful with another man’s vision, God will one day reward us with the honor of leading our own. As we are faithful with little, God will continue to trust us with more – all for His Kingdom sake. (Luke 16:10)
2. Don’t Take it Personal. There’s no escaping it… Ministry is full of rejection. This is one of the most challenging things I’ve had to deal with. But taking it personal isn't biblical. Let the words of God to Samuel bring you comfort:
1 Samuel 8:7 And the Lord told him: “Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king.
There is strength in knowing that we are honoring and following God, regardless of who rejects us in the process.
And often, time really does heal all wounds. It helped me to see that many of the people who had said or done hurtful things were simply unsure how to process the pain that came with change and transition. Later, we reconnected, and God healed our relationship in a miraculous way!
3. Get better, Then bigger. This was a fledgling food chain’s motto after experiencing some setbacks. They decided to stop focusing on being “Bigger” and let bigger come as a result of being better. Maybe you’ve heard of them… we know them as Chik-fil-A.
To be continued…
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