If you are a minister thinking about quiting, please listen. If you are in ministry, listen. If you are in a church and are being ministered to, please listen. I want to share the secret with you.
Ministry cannot be founded on a love for people no more than a marriage can last on a couples love for each other alone. Ministry cannot last on talent, giftedness, or drivenness – unless you are Superman, and we know the answer to that.
I won’t drag you on with a long devotional today. Here it is:
“For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died; and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf.” 2 Corinthians 5:14-15
The Apostle Paul tell us that the key is the love of God. It was the love of God that controlled what He did. The word controlled is also translated constrains. I know the force of that word. It is a word that pushes from the inside out. It’s not contolled by the love for people, though you need to love people. But, people will fail you. If you are in ministry, you know how you can be ministering and serving people who at the same time expect you to while abusing you, hurting you, not listening to you and turning on you. Sounds like being a shepherd to sheep. Shepherds tend and care while the sheep bite them, bite each other, go the other way and all the while expecting to be fed and cared for.
I know what it’s like to not want to and then the love of God pushes from deep within me, constraining me to press on for His sake and the sake of those He loves, died and rose for.
If you are in ministry you must put your focus on Christ and His love. Let His love drive you and direct you. Let His love energize you, sustain you, and hold your focus. If you don’t, you can find yourself one amongst the 1500 or so casualties of ministry.
“For we do not preach ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your bond-servants for Jesus’ sake.” 2 Corinthians 4:5
If you are one being ministered to and served, have grace and mercy on us.
“Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with grief, for this would be unprofitable for you. Pray for us, for we are sure that we have a good conscience, desiring to conduct ourselves honorably in all things.” Hebrews 13:17-18