I understand the dynamic of our time, nobody is ever satisfied until they reach the top. That’s fine, in fact it would be kind of disheartening for people to become content with less. However, when it comes to ministry unfortunately this dynamic has all but ruined many young ministers. This blog is a reflection of my own understanding, gathered by year’s of working under one if the greatest Men of God I know. My heart beat this morning as I write this blog is to connect with my fellow ministers, who labor under authority.
While I admire the determination to be used of God to the fullest, I fear that the mentality of ministry has become jaded. The question I’m asked more than any other, “are you full time yet?” My response, “full time paid or full time work?” Because like any Pastoral Assistant, my list of responsibilities are “full time”.
What frightens me is the perception of success is no longer about influence, impact, or results. Success is now measured by our title. In a culture in debt up to our ears trying to obtain in 5 years what our parents took 30 years to accumulate, it’s no wonder that attitude had infiltrated the church.
We see Pastors of great churches, ministries that travel the world, Conference preachers, etc… only we don’t see what it took to get them there. Yes, I have dreams for my ministry; but I’m not naive enough to think I’m ready for that now! Before God can use me greatly, I must be greatly prepared.
In Exodus 3:1, the Bible tells us that Moses was tending the sheep of Jethro his father in law. Yes the same Moses who would lead Israel out of Egypt was shepherding somebody else’s flock. I’m convinced it was during this season of life where Moses developed the skills and the wisdom to lead God’s people. Yet many of the young ministers today would view that job as somewhat demeaning to their calling.
In Zechariah 4, the prophet is seeing and hearing things regarding the reconstruction of the temple by the hands of Zerubbabel. The angel begins to explain that there are people who have despised the day off small things. But those same people would watch Zerubbabel’s success. As I read that profound statement, my mind wanders how many preachers will watch their peers succeed, because they despised the day of small things?
Jesus himself told us in Luke 16:12, “if you can’t be faithful with that which is another man’s, why would I give you your own?” And when we really examine this issue, it more than just accepting a lesser role; it’s about embracing the moment we’re in.
As great as King David was, perhaps his entire ministry can be summed up on this statement found in 1 Chronicles chapter 11 as David is anointed king, “even when Saul was king, you lead us out and brought us in” David’s character was established as the second man. David’s leadership qualities were established as the second man. And David earned the respect of Israel as the second man.
My prayer is that every minister would embrace their role in ministry regardless of their pay status. Remember, it was because of Elisha’s faithfulness to Elijah that he was able to take his mantle. I believe there is a double portion anointing waiting to consume my generation of ministers. But that blessing may be contingent upon our faithfulness as the second man.