Maintain Momentum In Ministry

Some congregations believe the pastor should be "swapped out" on a regular basis. This is to assure the congregation remains God's Church, not Pastor so-and-so's Church. And to prevent one man from having too much influence, to introduce new perspectives, and to keep members from becoming too dependent on one man.

So if a pastor is allowed, or forced, to circulate among congregations, why can't the members of a congregation circulate in other congregations to find new ministries? In the New Testament, the Apostles and the people they trained "rotated" churches (even in other countries) on a regular basis. People were trained. Then they were sent to where the need was the greatest.

Consider whether God may be leading you into a new area of ministry, wherever that may be. The opportunity to fill needs in a new ministry may be greater than what is available for you to fill in your present ministry. There may be something in your new ministry that you are uniquely qualified for and have been prepared to do. It is true that you have filled a need where you are now. I am not minimizing that. But if God makes it clear to you that He has a new direction for your life -- you can't be in two places at one time, or do two things at one time -- you should go with the direction God is choosing for you.

You must have a peace about this, regardless of what someone else may say, who may be looking at the little picture (his own picture) -- not the overall picture that God sees. Maybe someone is looking for a predefined slot or position title that can be easily categorized. But maybe there is opportunity in an unrecognized, loosely defined situation (or where that situation may lead) that will be a ministry. Even if no one can see that right now. You must have faith in God's calling.

Consider the tortoise and the hare. Sometimes I am like the tortoise. I do things one tiny, little piece at a time. But over time, the pieces accumulate into something substantial. People may laugh at how long it took me. They may question my approach. But I DID start. So I DO finish. And I WILL beat the hare across the finish line.

But sometimes I am like the hare and plunge wildly into something. With no sense of direction, I may veer off course. Whether we are cautious or hasty, maintaining the momentum in a ministry is key to success. Either way, we have to continually adjust, and sometimes start over, before reaching our final destination. Neither approach is perfect. When starting a project, we hope to hit the bull’s-eye. But how often does the dart fall short of the target, or strike off center? We must not shut down a ministry because we are afraid of making mistakes.

Sometimes others offer considerations I would have overlooked. I used to wonder if I should follow what everyone else says, like they would know better than I would, or I would hurt their feelings if I did not follow their advice. However, in my ministries for God, I should seek and consider advice, but ultimately I must direct my ministries as I feel God is leading me, not how others advise me. There is that connection with God (some call obedience) that continues even if you have not interpreted each minute detail correctly. Sometimes it is the reaching up to God that is more important than the precision with which you reach out for the next step of a project.

It is not a matter of who should get the credit, or the blame. A wrong turn or a missed mark does not mean we have sinned. But we must keep moving. As we MOVE, we will see the required direction, as the compass pulls us north or south, east or west. Standing still or barely moving at all, there can be no correction of direction. You cannot correct what does not exist.

If someone is teaching you a sport, to play a musical instrument or to sing, or any area of knowledge or skill, you must practice to master precision. And then you perform in front of your instructor. Then he makes corrections in your approach. And he compliments you on what you do correctly. “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” ( Proverbs 27:17 ) NIV

“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. ( Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 ) NIV

Who is sharpening you? Who are you sharpening? Who else and you could make a cord of three strands that is not quickly broken? We all need others as we continue our ministries for God.

Try to learn to appreciate and respect the wonder of the handiwork God has created in each of us, instead of tearing it down. Try to think of something positive and encouraging to say about yourself and others. God has provided a phenomenal foundation in each of us -- specific to the ministries He has planned for each of us.

Sometimes God gives us signs to help signal the way to ministries He is leading us to. I am seeing several signs of God’s power and provision displayed in my life. Not signs as in the Bible when people kept asking for more miracles and signs to "make them believe" for the sporting spectacle of it. God is leading each of us somewhere. But He is not showing us these things to prove He has a bag of tricks.

Maybe you have a Christian vision or mission. You are standing at Point A. You want to reach Point B. But you have no car to drive from A to B. God wants us to have faith in Him, to rest in Him, and to depend on Him to supply our needs. However, we start praying. And we moan and whine that we do not have the car to get us from A to B. We ask God for the car. But do we truly believe it will materialize? Actually, producing a car is no big deal for God. That is easy enough for Him. But when we mastermind our own solutions, we try to give God instructions on how He should be God. In which case, it is very difficult for us to accept the fact that God may have a way to provide that is different from our own.

Ask God to provide the means for you to do what you already know He has planted in your heart. And let God delight in taking you by surprise and providing in a way only He could foresee. We can't put words in God's mouth. He delights in providing. But He does it His way. If we dig our heels into the ground holding out for the car, we may miss the jet he has fueling up for us at the airport.

In any situation, whether a problem or a goal, we see only a limited number of alternatives for the solution. Then we lose hope when we cannot arrange for one of the alternatives to come to be. But God knows of alternatives that we miss. Sometimes our "problem" does not even exist. We just can't see clearly enough to realize these things.

Sometimes God provides a sign and chuckles to Himself, as if to say, "Leave the driving to me. I know what's around the next corner, but you don't." Doesn't God have a marvelous sense of adventure?! I love having God drive me around! Pop the top and let’s head on out!

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