We live in a complex world; radically changing fads, polarizing celebrities, emergent churches and superstar preachers. The pull to follow these New Age methods can become enticing if we are not grounded in truth. I have recently become even more passionate about ministry principles than I ever have been before. I’m not sure if it’s the outrageous number of peers who have called it quits, the loved ones who have left “the faith” in pursuit of an easier way, or simply the rise of young people feeling the call of God on their lives in our fellowship. Something has propelled me into brand new perspective of what we call ministry. Recently I wrote a blog entitled The Blessing of the Second Man. In this blog I explained the blessing of serving your pastor. Ministry is multifaceted, it’s not about being “the guy” its about doing His will! With that being said I want to try and present something that helped shape my ministry and hope that this blog can impact your ministry as it did mine, whatever your ministry may be.
First of all allow me to explain that this blog is different than others I’ve written. I will be very transparent about my own struggles and how God helped me overcome those struggles to be an effective minister in His kingdom.
Like most “young ministers” I couldn’t wait for my first opportunity to preach. That is until I heard my Bible college peers! These guys were incredible! Immediately I questioned my calling, “there’s no way I can preach like that” I thought! I became fearful and intimidated because I started measuring myself against those guys. Understand comparison is a dangerous toy to play with! It took me a long time to realize that God had called me to be me!
If I could sit down with every aspiring young preacher I would tell them as clear as day, “DO NOT COMPARE YOURSELF TO YOUR PEERS!” We can not be afraid to allow God to anoint us! That includes my quirks, my personality, my thought patterns and my mannerisms. Don’t try and duplicate another preacher, don’t try and mimic and emulate somebody else! God called YOU! Be YOU! I learned I can’t preach like those guys, because God didn’t call me to preach like those guys! Guess what, they can’t preach like me either! We are all different!
Principle Number 1: BE YOURSELF!
After I finally accepted the fact that I will never be so and so, I began to struggled in a different area. I am still by definition a “young preacher”, I’m 27 years old and I struggled with connecting to people as a minister. “Will these people take me serious? How do I minister effectively to people who have known me since I got in the church?” Soon the weight of my inexperience tormented me. I began to feel inadequate as a preacher. There those peers of mine were preaching youth rally’s and evangelizing and here I am leading service!
After years of struggling with comparison, struggling with feelings of inadequacy, struggling with the idea of whether or not I even belonged, God changed my life. I was simply reading my Bible one day when I had one of those “God moments”. I was reading the book of Psalms and I had reached chapter 78 and as I read down the chapter of 72 verse, the last 3 passages hit me like a ton of bricks!
“He chose David also his servant, and took him from the sheepfolds: From following ewes great with young he brought him to feed Jacob his people, and Israel his inheritance. So he fed them according to the integrity of his heart; and guided them by the skillfulness of his hands.”
God called David from feeding sheep to feed His people! “Don’t despise the day of small things” because God is simply preparing you for something bigger!
Principle Number 2: ACCEPT YOUR DESTINY!
David could’ve looked at his past, pedigree or present circumstances and decided he wasn’t cut out for this. He wasn’t invited to the party with the prophet, he was ridiculed by his brother, he was mocked by his adversary, and even the king of Israel tried to talk him out of it! But David had already accepted his destiny!
When God called me to preach, truth be told I was ill qualified. My past, my pedigree and even my present circumstances told me, “who are you kidding!” Members of my own family told me I was throwing my life away! If that was hard enough when I finally arrived in Bible college I found out my peers thought I wouldn’t last because I was a “new convert”! People have mocked me but my destiny has already been settled! People have ridiculed me and tried to talk me out of this “mistake”, but my destiny has already been settled! Settle your destiny now before your facing Goliath in a valley and your all alone because nobody believes in you! Peter told us in 1 Peter 1:10 to make our calling and election sure, and we will never fall! You can’t be defeated by family, peers, or giants if your destiny is settled!
So after David settled his destiny he was responsible for feeding Israel. Psalms tells us that he fed them with the integrity of his heart, and he guided them with the skillfulness of his hands. People notice the skill, but God notices the integrity. We may guide people all day long, but if there is no integrity in our hearts we will guide them into false doctrine and compromise!
Principle Number 3: INTEGRITY
There is a reason the Bible refers to David as a man after God’s own heart. David was a man of integrity! He had opportunities to vindicate himself, but integrity wouldn’t allow it! He had opportunities to eliminate his opposition to the throne, but integrity wouldn’t allow it! If we have integrity we have everything we need! Notice the Bible says he fed the people with integrity! He didn’t preach fancy sermons he had integrity! And the people began to grow. But integrity could only feed them, the people were still in need of direction and guidance.
Principle Number 4: SKILL
“He guided them with the skillfulness of his hands” Skill is not talent! You are born with talent, but skill must be developed! That is why the Apostle Paul told young Timothy, “Study to show thyself approved unto God…” Skill must be developed! We cannot depend on talent to get the job done, the people we minister to are in need of direction, and we must know the word! Daniel prophesied that the people that did know their God would be strong and do exploits. There is an anointing that flows from knowledge! When knowledge of the word is balanced with integrity the people will thrive! We need to feed and guide the people of the Lord!
I strongly believe that if we apply these principles to our lives our ministries will become more effective than we can even imagine! Be yourself! Accept your destiny! Strive for integrity! Develop your skills! I know there are many principles for ministry, but these principles have been a blessing to me and I pray they will to you as well. God bless.