Fear of Succeeding
2 Corinthians 12:9-11 – But he said to me, my grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Last week I mentioned that I accepted a position as the Director of Ministry for a local Baptist church (fcbc.church). The first week has been a whirlwind! It has been amazing, difficult, challenging, and exciting all in one!
The gifts and talents that I bring into the ministry here seem like they are complementary to the gifts and talents the other staff and elders have. After the first week it seems like an amazing fit!
A lot has happened this past week with the ministry. There have been some deliveries of benevolence funds to people, helping someone find a new job, helping people get food at a local food pantry, and working with local organizations to see if they would be a good fit in our building during the off-hours.
Then there are those items that I have been doing for many years in the business industry: writing training programs for ministry leaders as well as church-wide, doing needs analysis of ministries, and studying up on topics I know very little about (when I started in the coffee industry about 15 years ago I had no clue what coffee really was, the same holds true today with ministry).
I sat down over a couple days and created some training programs. They need work, but I think they are pretty decent programs.
Then fear set in.
Proverbs 18:3 – To answer before listening – that is folly and shame.
How much prayer and seeking of God’s face did I do before working on these? I honestly couldn’t remember!
I knew I had prayed at least a little bit, but I couldn’t honestly say that I was putting God first as I put together those programs.
I hope I didn’t just do something successful without bringing Christ into it!!!
I know that ministry is tough. The first week here has been full, but not tough. I am wondering if I am missing something.
But what IS tough is keeping Christ at the forefront of the ministry.
Some tasks are simple. A door is broken, let’s get the door fixed. Not a lot of prayer time required to make sure I make the right decision.
But what about the benevolence and food pantry and job help. If I get those wrong, then more than my own ego would be in jeopardy. I honestly can’t remember how much prayer I put into them all.
Psalm 5:3 – In the morning, LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning, I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly.
So today I started something a little different. Instead of coming in and immediately getting to work, I am taking the opportunity to dig into the Bible for a few minutes and then go to prayer. Then, when I am about an hour or so from leaving, I go into the sanctuary and pray.
This is the reason that ministry is a calling and not a job. It is very easy to get caught up in the job aspects of the ministry, but if we look at everything as some aspect of “the job,” then we will never grow and excel in Christian ministry. But, on the flip side of that, if we spend all our time in prayer, fasting and dying to ourselves, then the little details like taking out the trash, setting mouse traps, and cleaning toilets will never get done.
1 Thessalonians 2:12 – Encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory.
I have had several jobs in my life. Every single one of them eventually gets boring and repetitive. I am sure ministry will be no different in many ways. But the call of ministry, if we see it as such, will carry us through the doldrums and bring us into exciting high winds to fill our sails.
So here’s to hoping that I don’t see only success. Here is to hoping that I fail a little. Here is to hoping I don’t get bored on the repetitive tasks and am able to enjoy the diversity of ministry.
And here’s to hoping that this journey will bring the discomfort to me and my family that causes the awakening that God so sorely needs in this world today.