Category Archives: Ministry

Discipleship From A Distance

Been thinking about discipleship a bit recently.

I’m so grateful for leaders and spiritual (and natural!) parents who’ve taken the time and energy to personally walk with me and invest into my life. I’m doing what I’m doing today because of what they gave me….

Hmmm… maybe they’d prefer to not take credit for how my life has turned out… haha ūüôā

Anyway… I’ve been thinking too about how I’ve ALSO been discipled by people I never had a personal relationship with. I saw something on their life that I wanted to be like, and I MYSELF took the time and energy to read their books, listen to their music or messages, go to their conferences. They may have never known my name or the effect that they’d had on me. But they’ve been incredibly influential and there’s things I do differently in my life simply because I learnt it from them.

A great example of this for me is Keith Green. Keith died in a plane crash in 1982 when I was only 6, and it would be another 9 years before I ever ‘discovered’ his ministry. Yet I throughout my teenage years I devoured everything and anything he’d written, played, said or done! He was totally my teacher and I was absolutely discipled by him‚Ķ after he‚Äôd already been taken to glory!

“Special Time‚ÄĚ?
Ps Phil Pringle made a fascinating point at the C3 Leaders conference I was at earlier this year. He said that often people ask him to mentor or disciple them, and what they’re really asking for is ‘special time’ with him.

He then went on to say that it‚Äôs been interesting for him how over the years, there‚Äôs been all these peope he spent ‚Äėspecial time‚Äô with, who never really listened or took on board anything he said. But then, he‚Äôs found people all over the world who have read his books, listened to his messages, went to his seminars, and who are living out in their lives the very essence of what he preaches.

So the question has to be asked really – who is the true disciple? The one who gets the ‚Äėspecial time‚Äô or the one who actually listens and puts into practice what is taught? Of course these things aren‚Äôt always mutually exclusive. There are those who get ‚Äėspecial time‚Äô who become true disciples for sure. But it‚Äôs really made me think.

Discipled From A Distance
I never met Keith, but I learned a lot of my piano style by studying and imitating his music and I got a foundation for ministry through his uncompromising, sold-out life for Jesus.

I‚Äôve only met Ps Phil once in person, but his teachings on faith and vision, and his answer to a question I asked at a leaders event earlier this year on how he spends time with God have been absolutely put into practice for me. I‚Äôve been a disciple in those areas through blogs, podcasts and from three chairs along from the left in Row 49 ūüôā

So what conclusion does it bring me to? It makes me think that perhaps discipleship isn’t just about the teacher taking the time to pursue the student. Perhaps it’s equally as much about the student taking the time to pursue the teacher!

When Leaders Fall

My heart was ripped up¬†yesterday hearing the news of a pastor friend of mine in another city¬†who has¬†had to leave the¬†ministry because he wasn’t careful with his¬†personal boundaries. ¬†I’m not usually too much one for tears, but they came yesterday… for him, for his church, for the people involved, for the community he’s been a part of. ¬†I’m totally gutted about it… and I wasn’t even that close to what unfolded.

I’m sure there’s a lot of pointing fingers right now, and a heap¬†of blame and accusation swirling¬†around. ¬†Without¬†a doubt some bad decisions were made in this situation, and now the tragic consequences are being played out. ¬†But I’m a bit slower these days to get out my torch and pitchfork and join angry mobs. ¬†I was an expert on pastoral ministry before I became a pastor¬†myself. ¬†Much like I was a self-proclaimed authority¬†on parenting before we had kids ūüôā I’m still an idealist at heart,¬†but¬†with nearly a decade of pastoring under my belt now –¬†I think I have a much better understanding of¬†the unique pressures that church leaders¬†are under.

So I’m writing this post partly¬†to help me process the pain in my heart that I‚Äôm feeling about this situation. ¬†But I also want to communicate¬†a perspective, a ‘behind-the-scenes’ look at¬†how the process of how fantastic and gifted¬†leaders get themselves into trouble. ¬†People are often gobsmacked – “How did that amazing, anointed¬†pastor¬†do something as stupid as that?”.¬† Unfortunately,¬†history shows us that¬†the path to that destination is¬†seemingly¬†too easy to take. ¬†So¬†how do leaders end up there, and how should we react when a leader takes a fall?

The Set-Up

When I started out pastoring, I was blindly ignorant to the balancing act of ‘Cirque Du Soleil’¬†proportions that was awaiting¬†me! ¬†You need to have a strong vision and¬†bold leadership, but at the same time, be careful and¬†considerate to the weak and the hurting. ¬†You need to move quickly sometimes and painstakingly slowly at others. ¬†You need to keep a burning¬†passion for the spiritual house¬†that God is building, while being able to make seemingly inane practical decisions on ‘physical house’¬†of the church building. ¬†You have to stay focussed¬†on those who’ve never heard the gospel while also not neglecting the spiritual¬†growth¬†of those who have responded to Christ. ¬†You need¬†to care enough about people to hold relationships tightly, but be gracious enough¬†to respond well when¬†a¬†person who you’ve invested years of your life¬†into announces¬†that their ‘season has changed’¬†and they’re moving on.¬† You need to keep sight of the big picture and the small details. ¬†It‚Äôs a pressured job that can easily get on top of you without constant vigilance, prayer, faith and most of all a close walk with God.

But it‚Äôs not only a job, it‚Äôs a very, very personal job.¬† There‚Äôs perhaps few other roles where every part of a person‚Äôs life comes under such scrutiny and is seen so widely.¬† We expect our leaders to model¬†the¬†Christian faith to us, to give us the example that we can follow. ¬†We expect that their¬†prayer life will be awesome, their families perfect, their decisions Solomon-like, and¬†that they¬†won’t let us down.

Yet in spite of the vast amount of writings, sermons and conversations about how putting leaders on pedestals sets them up to fail…¬†it’s still going on, and I think it always will. ¬†It’s the cost¬†of leadership. ¬†I’m not¬†writing this to complain¬†about it – my personal feeling is if you can’t handle the heat in the kitchen, then¬†maybe a career as a chef isn’t for you! ¬†Every job has it’s challenges and I‚Äôve listed just a few of the ones that¬†church leaders face.¬† But I share this to make it easier to understand the next point ‚Äď that the unique pressures on pastors not only requires a lot of energy and dedication, but it also makes it really hard for them to have real, open¬†friendships with people.

It comes as a surprise to many that pastors are often some of the most isolated¬†and lonely people in the church. ¬†“Surely not!” ¬†you¬†say, “that warm and smiling, super-positive guy who spends his weeks having coffees and chats, and on Sunday’s¬†works through the¬†queue¬†of people¬†waiting to¬†grab a moment of his time? ¬†Lonely? ¬†No one to talk to? ¬†Why, he’s friends with everyone!”. ¬†But actually it’s really hard to have close friends¬†when you’re in pastoral ministry. ¬†A big reason for this is that we build relationships with each other by sharing what‚Äôs on our hearts and what‚Äôs going on in our minds.¬† But it‚Äôs a totally different deal for pastors because:

  • When you hold¬†people’s secrets and they’ve trustingly confided in you, you don‚Äôt want to let something slip so… you start to become very careful about what you say.
  • When¬†you¬†think something out loud and find that you’ve unwittingly created a new church policy, and people are coming or leaving based on something you just said once… you start to become very careful about what you say.
  • When the person you thought would be responsible to keep something on the down-low¬†blabs it to all in sundry (“I’m just telling you this so you can pray “…lol!) … you start to become very careful about what you say.
  • When¬†you shared how you were honestly feeling with another pastor or leader, and then rather than draw close and help you¬†they avoid you¬†… you start to become very careful about what you say.

And so the stage is set. ¬†Tired from the continual balancing act, burdened by the expectations of people, managing the relentlessness with which Sunday comes around every week,¬†and facing difficulty having¬†open, honest conversation with others – you’ve got a¬†church leader who’s in dangerous territory. ¬†More often than not, they don’t even realise how close to the edge they are before they fall off it.

There Is No Little Sin

No one wakes up one morning and says to themselves ¬†“You know, I think I’ll have an affair today”, or “Yes, it¬†seems like a good point in time¬†to move thousands of dollars of church money into my bank account to pay off my personal credit card”. ¬†Every ‘big and visible sin’ starts as a¬†tiny thought-seed. ¬†Removing a seed from the ground is a fairly small matter. ¬†Removing¬†the¬†massive oak it‚Äôs become, with¬†roots spreading in all¬†directions is another matter altogether. ¬†You can get it out, but it‚Äôs going to¬†have a visible and often long-lasting effect on the landscape.

Romans 11:29 says that the ‘gifts and calling of God are irrevocable’. ¬†What this means is that when God gives a person a gift, He doesn’t take it back. ¬†The ability to operate in a gift doesn’t depend on a person’s character. ¬†This is simultaneously the greatest blessing that God could give us, and our most vulnerable¬†Achilles heel. ¬†It means that we¬†don’t have to have perfect lives to minister in our gifts and callings. ¬†Halleljuah! ¬†It also means… we don’t have to have perfect lives to minister in our gifts and callings.¬† Hmmm.

I can’t take this from personal experience (thankfully, and I pray for God’s strength), but I’d wager that at some point every¬†church leader who has ended up taking¬†a public fall discovered that they could hold on to small sins privately, and it didn’t¬†seem¬†to make any difference to their ministry. ¬†They were awakened to the¬†fact that their gifts appeared¬†intact even when they were allowing compromises in¬†secret. ¬†This is why it’s so important that we realise that sin is not just what hurts us or what hurts other people, sin is actually whatever God says sin¬†is, and¬†all too¬†often¬†it¬†doesn’t have an immediate effect. ¬†You can’t discern the seriousness of a sin based on whether or not you were able to get away with doing it and still preach up a storm on Sunday.

The worst part of sin is that the more it grows the¬†harder we find it¬†to confess. ¬†We feel ashamed¬†of the seed-thoughts that we have, and so¬†we keep them hidden. ¬†In the fertile soil of darkness and secret, they grow into small actions and compromises, and so we work harder to keep them hidden. ¬†Over time, if we don’t deal with them, they start¬†to become noticeable to others, so we lie and deceive to keep our reputation intact.¬† We condone and justify our actions by seeing the sin as a kind of ‚Äėself-medication‚Äô, ‚Äėa little payback‚Äô for the difficulty of the job we‚Äôre doing and the fact that we‚Äôre feeling alone and unsupported.

All this is unfortunately all-too-common human nature, but when you add the dimension of this taking place in the heart of a pastor, it’s a whole other deal. ¬†Righteousness and holiness is not just part of his life… it’s in his job description. ¬†He gets paid to be holy ūüôā (you might want to throw things at me for saying that, but you know it’s true!). ¬†So it’s little wonder that when pastors fail to deal with sin-seeds and they end up with a private locker that’s starting to overflow into their public life…¬†that they will go to great lengths to try to cover up their failing. ¬†Their livelihood depends on it!

So there we have it – a church leader who’s tired¬†from¬†the circus balancing act of ministry, who can’t talk¬†openly to anyone about it, who’s got a triffid growing in secret, and they’re¬†desperately trying to keep it under control¬†so they don’t lose their job. ¬†It’s the perfect storm.

One Way Or Another

1 John 1:9 is a wonderful verse. ¬†It tells us¬†that if we confess our sins to God, He’s faithful to forgive them. ¬†I remind myself of this verse on a daily basis! ¬†But you know, it’s not enough for us just to¬†confess our¬†sins to God. ¬†Every leader who ever¬†fell spent a lot of time after they’d sinned¬†confessing their sins to God and asking for His forgiveness. ¬†They promised God that they would never do that thing again. ¬†I’m sure they were genuine and they really meant what they prayed.¬† But leaders are still falling.¬† We need something more.¬† That’s why God also gave us James 5:16 –¬†“Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for each other,¬†so that you may be healed“.

Confessing our sins to God gets us forgiven. ¬†Confessing our sins to others gets us healed. ¬†It’s not enough just to talk about sin with God, we¬†need¬†to talk about it with other people too.

It’s never a pleasant experience¬†to have to own up to¬†what’s going on in your thought life in the presence of another person. ¬†It’s a reminder of how human you are, and how much you have yet to grow in¬†the image of Christ. ¬†But if we skip this step because it feels shameful, or we don’t have the time for it, or because ‘I’m the pastor and I’m supposed to be perfect’ – then all we’re doing is¬†trading a small and private unpleasant experience for what could very well end up being a large and public unpleasant experience. ¬†The choice is ours.

How To Not Be A Statistic

I’ve given this a lot of thought over the years, having watched as we all have the¬†devastating effects of¬†a church leader falling.

Personally, I’ve come to this conclusion: A choice has to be made deep within your heart as a leader that you’re not going to indulge in hidden sin. ¬†You have to regularly do the math on small compromises and realistically face where they will take you if you don‚Äôt deal with them.¬† The little ‘treats’, the little ‘just this once’ – in the moment they can seem trivial.¬† But we need to see the end of the story to work out just how ‚Äėtrivial‚Äô they may be.

Put yourself in the church meeting where it’s all come out and now you have to stand up and apologise to everyone… your spouse standing there with tears streaming down her cheeks, your let-down children, your devastated leadership team, your shocked congregation. ¬†Put yourself on the receiving end of the¬†awkward conversations that will take place for years and years after ‚Äď ‚ÄėWeren‚Äôt you the pastor there?¬† What happened?‚Äô. ¬†See yourself in the meeting where you’re sorting out custody for the kids because your marriage has imploded. ¬†Visualise the job interview you have to take because no church is going to employ a recently fallen pastor, and think about what you’re going to say¬†when they ask you what you’ve been doing for the last 20 years, and why you left the job you were in previously. ¬†Your passionate sermons, the powerful God-moments, every reason you got into ministry will be overshadowed by this event. ¬†This will be your legacy, what everyone remembers you for. ¬†Then ask yourself this… is it really worth it?

So hence, wise pastors put clear boundaries around their lives.¬† Someone once said that if you avoid even the appearance of evil, you tend to avoid the evil itself.¬† I think that‚Äôs pretty right on.¬† Good boundaries on how we relate to those of the opposite sex, how we deal with money, how we process decisions ‚Äď are important and necessary to last long term.

But having said this, I’ve come to realise that no amount of checks and balances, accountability relationships,¬†stated boundaries etc can change what’s in a person’s heart. ¬†I’ve seen plenty of leaders with all of these things in place… and they still fell. ¬†They got around the checks, and they didn’t tell the whole truth in the accountability sessions. ¬†Having these things in place is important, but none of it will ever make up for the ongoing decision that takes place in secret in a leader’s heart.

Pastor ‚Äď the only person in the world who can stop you from being a statistic… is you.

Responding Right When A Leader Falls

I think it‚Äôs the responsibility of the leadership in place in a local church to deal with a leader falling in the most transparent and honourable way possible.¬† Things shouldn‚Äôt be ‚Äėswept under the carpet‚Äô.¬† In my experience, people generally know when something isn‚Äôt right, and they always know when they‚Äôre not being told the whole truth.¬† If a leadership tries to hide things from people to ‚Äėprotect the congregation‚Äô or ‚Äėnot expose the leader‚Äô, what often ends up happening is that the leadership ends up taking a credibility hit, and the situation degenerates even further.¬† We have to speak the truth, and we have to do it love and with genuine concern for the people involved.

I‚Äôve also seen some crazy responses over the years to leaders falling.¬† Sometimes people go as far as burning books and resources from the person… as if now everything they‚Äôve ever said and done has been tainted by this one sin.¬† Others use the fallen leader as their ongoing excuse for why they‚Äôll never trust the church again, or the justification for pain that they‚Äôre holding on to that they won‚Äôt deal with and give to God.¬† I meet people who were under a pastor who fell 20 years ago, and they‚Äôre still holding that pastor responsible for their messed up life today.¬† We can‚Äôt stop other people from doing things that hurt us, but it‚Äôs totally our choice as to whether or not we hold on to that pain.

With all my heart, my prayer is that we will never have to see another leader fall because of hidden sin.  But as long as we have imperfect humans in leadership positions, I think unfortunately it’s going to be something that we have to continue to deal with.  Historically, the church hasn’t been very good at this, having the tendency to execute our wounded as opposed to resotring them back to health and wholeness.  As a result, the devil all too often gets the double victory of taking a gifted person out of ministry, as well as destroying their walk with God.  I’m not suggesting for a second that when a leader falls they should keep their role, but it’s also not about withdrawing from them and leaving them out in the cold either.  We need to maintain high standards of integrity and credibility in leadership.

Church isn‚Äôt another organisation, it‚Äôs a family.¬† Organisations get rid of people when they fail.¬† Families live with people when they fail.¬† We find our way forward through the mess, we deal with the issues, we talk things out.¬† Re-establishing broken trust and restoring a leader can a very long time ‚Äď often years.¬† But if we continue to reach out in love, and walk through the process, we‚Äôll get to the place where broken people are restored and stronger than they ever were before.¬† And what the devil intended to destroy us, God has turned around for victory.¬† ¬†¬†That sounds like God to me, and it sounds like the kind of church that I want to be a part of!

Where Earth Ends…

Preparing for a church leaders meeting yesterday I had this verse going around in my head:

“Do you not know, have you not heard? ¬†The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth” – Isaiah 40:28

And I found myself stuck on that insight that God is the creator of the ends of the earth.

Now we all know that the earth is round and doesn’t have a physical ‘end’ but¬†there’s lots of¬†places where the land runs out¬†and the oceans begin. ¬†Those places are like the ‘ends of the earth’.

We can reach those places in life too – where it’s like we’ve used up all our energy and strength, and we’ve reached the very end of all that we can do ourselves. ¬†We come to the end of our earth.

Often, in those moments, we blame ourselves for perhaps taking a wrong turn, or not hearing the voice of God right. ¬†But¬†has it ever occurred to us that God Himself is the ‘Creator of the ends of the earth’?

In a way, it means that there are times in our lives where God ordains the land to run out. ¬†Where we come to the end of what is naturally possible¬†and we can’t go any further in our own strength or wisdom. ¬†But He hasn’t created¬†the ‘ends’ to frustrate us or to box us in – but rather, to give us the¬†moment¬†to shift into another gear.

Chapter 40 of Isaiah ends with these words…

but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles [….]

God ordains places where the land runs out in our lives… because it’s time to fly!

Maybe you’re at¬†earth’s end today – you’re tired and weary, and ready to give up. ¬†But you don’t have to stop. ¬†You don’t have to retrace your steps. ¬†You just have to get into that place where you wait on the Lord. ¬†He will give you strength and help you make the transition. ¬†Nothing can stop you when you’re powered with His strength

Stir It Up

Thinking today about the cripple sitting by the pool of Bethesda in John 5. The Bible says he was waiting for the pool to be stirred. Then thinking about 2 Tim 1:6 which encourages us to ‘stir up the gift of God’.

The man was healed that day not because the pool was stirred, but because Jesus had stirred His gift!!

It’s the same when it comes to walking in the power of the Spirit. Some can only move when the ‘pool is stirred’ – when they’re in an environment where things are already happening. But we’re called to ‘stir the gift’ – to get the environment set in the first place!

How do we do this? I find that to walk in the Spirits power requires an act of faith on my part. It might be summoning the courage to pray for someone. Or in my prayer times, deciding to laugh before the Spirits joy comes on me!! As we STIR the gifts God has given us – His power starts to flow.

Thoughts On Job 28 – Mining Gold!

Job 28:1 – Surely there is a mine for silver, and a place for gold which they refine.

Job 28:2 – Iron is taken out of the earth, and copper is smelted out of the ore.

Job 28:3 – Man sets an end to darkness, and searches out, to the furthest bound, the stones of obscurity and of thick darkness.

Job 28:4 – He breaks open a shaft away from where people live. They are forgotten by the foot. They hang far from men, they swing back and forth.

Job 28:5 – As for the earth, out of it comes bread; Underneath it is turned up as it were by fire.

Job 28:6 – Sapphires come from its rocks. It has dust of gold.

Job 28:7 – That path no bird of prey knows, neither has the falcon’s eye seen it.

Job 28:8 – The proud animals have not trodden it, nor has the fierce lion passed by there.

Job 28:9 – He puts forth his hand on the flinty rock, and he overturns the mountains by the roots.

Job 28:10 – He cuts out channels among the rocks. His eye sees every precious thing.

Job 28:11 – He binds the streams that they don’t trickle. The thing that is hidden he brings forth to light.

Job 28:12 – But where shall wisdom be found? Where is the place of understanding?

Job 28:13 – Man doesn’t know its price; Neither is it found in the land of the living.

Job 28:14 – The deep says, ‘It isn’t in me.’ The sea says, ‘It isn’t with me.’

Job 28:15 – It can’t be gotten for gold, neither shall silver be weighed for its price.

Job 28:16 – It can’t be valued with the gold of Ophir, with the precious onyx, or the sapphire{or, lapis lazuli}.

Job 28:17 – Gold and glass can’t equal it, neither shall it be exchanged for jewels of fine gold.

Job 28:18 – No mention shall be made of coral or of crystal. Yes, the price of wisdom is above rubies.

Job 28:19 – The topaz of Ethiopia shall not equal it, Neither shall it be valued with pure gold.

Job 28:20 – Whence then comes wisdom? Where is the place of understanding?

Job 28:21 – Seeing it is hidden from the eyes of all living, and kept close from the birds of the sky.

Job 28:22 – Destruction and Death say, ‘We have heard a rumor of it with our ears.’

Job 28:23 – God understands its way, and he knows its place.

1)     There is a place where gold and silver are found

It’s not found everywhere.  True treasure is hidden, and it has to be searched for.  But it is SOMEWHERE!

There is treasure in our ministries… but we have to look for it.¬† It‚Äôs often not found just lying around in the easy places.¬† But it IS there!

2)    Iron is taken out of the ground and copper is smelted

That which is of great value doesn‚Äôt start off as great value.¬† There‚Äôs work to be done to turn it into great value.¬† You don‚Äôt just pick up iron & copper ‚Äď it has to be worked with and processed.

There IS WORK in our ministries to be done.  We co-labour, co-ergo with God.  Just because God’s in the equation it doesn’t mean everything comes easy!

3)    Man sets an end to darkness, and searches out the furtherest bounds

There comes a point in our lives and ministries where we say ‚Äėthere must be more‚Äô.¬† I‚Äôm not happy with what I‚Äôm seeing, with where things are.¬† I‚Äôm going to go exploring.¬† I‚Äôm going to try some things.

Our quest for gold begins with our dissatisfaction at what we currently have.  Settlers never find gold, only explorers do!

4)    Gold is far away from people, and you have to hang there a while

The place where gold is found is away from the crowds.¬† There‚Äôs no signs pointing to it!¬† Not only that but you have to be prepared to ‚Äėhang‚Äô for a while, swinging back and forth.¬† Can feel like a pointless endeavour ‚Äď is anything ever going to happen?

But that’s the process to find gold.  And it’s the same with our ministries.  The most valuable thing we can be doing is exploring.  Our settlements process the gold.  But our mines and explorations discover it.  If the gold starts to dry up, so do our settlements!

5)    No bird of prey / falcon has found it

Those who are looking for a quick feed and an easy path won‚Äôt strike gold.¬† Gold isn‚Äôt found by the birds of prey ‚Äď the scavengers.

6)    He puts his hand on the flinty rock

There is something very tactile, time-consuming, and involved about looking for gold.  It takes time.  YOU have to do it.  You can’t just delegate it to someone else.  Your hand has to touch the flinty rock.  You have to cut the channels.  You have to stop the water flowing (a difficult thing) so that you can find what’s hidden beneath it.

It’s like that with people’s lives.  We have to touch them.  We have to be prepared to bury deep with them, and to stop up the distractions that are flowing over the top so that we can get to the gold.

7)     The thing that is hidden is brought forth to the light

Finally, after all of the process ‚Äď the gold is found, and brought from the darkness into the light.

THEN HE SAYS… now, what about wisdom?!¬† Where do you find it?¬† The answer… God knows the way.¬† He‚Äôs the only one who can direct us in the things that we‚Äôre facing today.

Strength Through Softness

Romans 15:1 – Now we who are strong ought to bear the weaknesses of the weak, and not to please ourselves.

Sometimes it doesn’t massively please us to have to put up with other people‚Äôs weaknesses!  We‚Äôd rather they just sort it out, or we don‚Äôt have to deal with them. 

But I prove myself as a mature believer, and display the strength that I claim to have, by loving others and helping them in their weakness. Not by cutting and running, but by helping and building.  While it may be easier to do what pleases me ‚Äď it‚Äôs not helpful for the building up of the body. 

So if we claim to be strong, mature believers ‚Äď this will be tested and evidenced by how we deal with the weaknesses of other people.  It takes huge commitment and strength to continue to show mercy and love when it‚Äôs taking a toll on us. 

But this is what Jesus demonstrated and continues to demonstrate to us!

The Call Of A Minister

‚ÄúMy sons, do not be negligent now, for the LORD has chosen you to stand before him and serve him, to minister before him and to burn incense.” ‚Äď 2 Chronicles 29:11

Been really struck recently about how EVERY Christian is called to be a leader, a minister ‚Äď ‚ÄėSenior Pastor‚Äô of their world.¬† It‚Äôs a mindset change that is necessary for the people of God to get out of child mode and into maturity mode!

A few notes out of this verse:

* Ministers stand before God. They hang around him and are ready to do His bidding at a moments notice.  They live as servants firstly of God.  They belong to Him.

* Ministers minister to God.  Not for Him but TO Him.  His pleasure and delight is the focus of their ministry.  They give their devotion and affection to the Lord.

* Ministers minister with a sense of God‚Äôs closeness.¬† They minister ‚Äėbefore Him‚Äô ‚Äď although their ministry may be to people, their eyes are firmly fixed on God.¬† They live for the applause of One.

* Ministers burn incense continually.  Incense speaks of prayer.  They live with a continual connection with God.  There is always a sweet fragrance coming off their lives.