How to remain faithful in ministry?
19 January 2022
Out of ten people, only one person remains in ministry until the age of 65. That is according to John Maxwell, a well-known author, speaker and pastor who has written many books on leadership.
Why does this happen?
Natural death, physical illness, emotional burnout, sin. All these are good reasons, but are they the only ones?
One of the main reasons a minister goes astray is the loss of a sense of dependence on God, when a person relies only on his experience in his ministry, losing respect for God and inner awareness of the possibility of true success in this or that matter under the only condition – God’s good will.
The best example of dependence on God is the life of the Lord Jesus on earth. He said about Himself: “…the Son can do nothing by Himself, unless He sees the Father doing it: for whatever He does, the Son does also (John 5:19).
In other words, Jesus openly stated His position: “I do nothing on my own initiative.”
Obviously, the Son of God was aware of His complete dependence on the Heavenly Father.
Do we always do the same? Are we who God has told us to be and are we doing exactly what He has told us to do?
- The minister needs to be convinced of three things:
I have no good desires: ” For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.” (Rom. 7:18).
- Without God’s grace, I am unable to do anything useful for God’s Kingdom.
- I am totally and completely dependent on God.
Dependent on God: Weak or Strong?
“He’s a very talented minister, but it’s too bad he knows about it.”
“I already have such experience in ministering that I can do some things without God.” (From quotes from ministers).
When God chooses us, few of us are “wise according to the flesh, few are strong, few are noble” among us. But He “chose the unwise of the world to shame the wise, and God chose the weak of the world to shame the mighty” (1 Cor. 1:27-28). It looks like some plan of the Creator – to take the weak in order to show His power.
How can the weak, but called by God, overcome the strong of this world?
The minister must rely on God’s wisdom, power and ability, thus acknowledging his dependence on God. In any undertaking, to be aware of the need for God, His guidance, revelations: what to do, how, with whom and when?
God specially chooses weak people who seem to be of little significance. But if they depend on Him and need Him, He blesses them, uses them, and shows them that the values of this world are pointless.
If the minister considers himself weak and incapable, then this is the state when God can use him, make him strong, blessed and successful. It is difficult to use someone who is overflowing with his wisdom, abilities, strength, and talents, and therefore does not need God’s help: there is no place for God anymore.
Figuratively speaking, the Almighty needs an empty vessel. And the more emptiness the minister gives Him, the more of His fullness he will be able to receive.
Being aware of your dependence on God is the key to a long-term ministry.