Lessons of ministry

June 30, 2014

I love celebrating events. Birthdays (even half birthdays), anniversaries, so when I looked at the date and realized that this marks an anniversary for me I couldn’t sit back and do nothing.

 

This month marks 3 years I have been at my job (specifically as Worship Director).

I remember stepping into this unknown place full of joy and passion about this new job. But I have to admit, I couldn’t ignore the voice in the back of my head. I first heard that voice in college. I remember sitting in classes with people who had similar worship desires as I did and hearing the challenges and the difficulties that laid ahead of us (and that was if we could find a job in leading worship that could cover our needs). I often heard how hard being in ministry is and the high stats of ministry leaders who leave ministry… or the church all together. I tried not to dwell on those difficulties but take that information as a lesson. I knew I didn’t want to be someone who shied away from ministry especially on the basis of fear (fear of failing, fear of messing up, fear of the unknown..). I knew going forward would be a learning experience. As I reflect on 3 years of this ministry, I remember the three things I have learned.

 

1. Never underestimate the power of prayer. When you are in ministry, everyone says pray (books, magazines, blogs, speakers, teachers… everyone). So don’t just blow over that. Even when you are crazy busy, make time to pray. I have actually found that the craziest times (when I thought I had no room for prayer) were the times I need the most prayer. And when I’m talking praying, I’m talking about authenticity. In ministry sometimes this kind of praying is passionate, sometimes it feels worn out, sometimes it is with such joy and celebration, sometimes in the mundane meetings, and other times it feels like you’re crying these prayers out. But never underestimate them and don’t let a moment pass when you know you should be communicating with God.

2 Always be humbled. I remember after the third time of leading worship (before this job) I had these moments of complete humility, mostly because I was pretty nervous- not simply about playing things right, but knowing that I had a big job in my hands. I was leading God’s people in worship. That shouldn’t be taken lightly! To know that I am preparing something for the King of creation is a BIG DEAL! So don’t take it lightly. Don’t roll out of bed…. even when you wish you could have gotten a better night’s sleep and simply drag yourself into church. Ministering to others requires more than showing up. Even when you have had a terrible week, God is worthy of our worship (on Sunday mornings and in every other moment). In those early days I remember writing in my journal that I hope I never lose this sense of humility when it comes to worship. I’ll admit, humility can be a battle. When you start to feel more comfortable and more confident, that feeling of complete reliance on God can be dulled. But Humility is a battle worthy fighting. God doesn’t want people ministering who are full of themselves and what they are capable of, because honestly- they aren’t of any use to Him in that condition. Lesson: Always be humbled.

3 Keep your eyes open- Because you never know when you are going to see God move. It’s easy to show up to a job that you go to everyday and go through your duties. But when you actually stop and look at what’s happening, what has happened, and what you see unfolding, you will see God’s hand moving. In big and small ways. Never underestimate the power of God. And when you see God moving- celebrate that! Share your stories so others can celebrate with you. Never forget to thank God for these moments. These are the moments that fuel ministry. Remember where they came from and give your praises back to Him in return for what you see Him doing.

 

I have spent a good portion of the last three years at a church, but as I look at these three things, I realize they aren’t limited to a church. I might have learned more about these areas in ministry but I think they can be applied to any job (paid or not) or place God has placed you.

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2 Responses to “Lessons of ministry”

  1. Little Drummer Boy said

    You are the best worship director we have had. Happy three year worship anniversary. But you should be celebrating everyday because your job is always close to God. (Your tied with Tim for singing/guitar playing.)

  2. Betsi said

    I am SO thankful for you! For your skills and abilities, but mostly your passion and love for the Lord and His people! Our church is blessed by you, friend.

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