So I asked the troubling question about doing ministry as if your salary was not an issue and didn’t get many takers. I was fishing for some responses and really looking for some takers. Heath had an excellent comment: “The truth would be the truth not matter how anyone would choose to feel about it.”
On the flip side of the issue I would like to offer you that if we are waiting on being a millionaire to do real ministry then we are fooling ourselves and even worse, we are making a mockery of the power of God. Here’s the truth as Heath alluded to:
If we are doing ministry according to the response of man then we are operating under a spirit of fear and in these times God does not need fearful ministers…he needs fearless!
Why are we so afraid of men?
They put their feet in socks just like we do?
They breathe the same air we do?
They have an expiration date just like we do?
They are sinners just like we are?
They are just as dependent on God’s sovereignty as we are?
Yet we cower in fear because they have our jobs in the grips of their hands. The answer to that is, “No they don’t!” God does. God always does. Any they may take your salary away, your benefits, your title but they cannot take away the one thing only God can do…your destiny. Consider the pondering of the Psalmist:
1 You have searched me, Lord,
and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
4 Before a word is on my tongue
you, Lord, know it completely.
5 You hem me in behind and before,
and you lay your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain. (139.1-6)
In other words, God is sovereign, we are not.
Along those same lines…
Perhaps many of us need a good ole’ fashioned attitude check.
It’s not about us anyways. Perhaps your leadership stinks. Maybe your ministry has some really cantankerous parents. I bet you don’t make enough money (you never will right?). I get all of that. Yet, somewhere down the road we are going to get to a point where nothing is going to satisfy us. That’s OK because it’s not about us. Jonah didn’t want to go to Nineveh, Daniel probably didn’t want to jump in the den of lions, Jeremiah didn’t have fun prophesying to a godless nation, Jesus didn’t enjoy suffering on a cross, Ananias really didn’t want to talk to Saul who would be called Paul, Peter really didn’t like Gentiles and Paul really didn’t like beatings.
It’s not about us. That’s not why we minister.
We are servants.
I will leave you with Brother Paul…
27 Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in the one Spirit,striving together as one for the faith of the gospel 28 without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you. This is a sign to them that they will be destroyed, but that you will be saved—and that by God. 29 For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for him, 30 since you are going through the same struggle you saw I had, and now hear that I still have. (Phil. 1.27-30)
Photo Credits: Ed Bierman on Creative Commons