This week marks my fifth year in full time ministry. I have been involved in ministry for close to 11 years but I didn’t dive in full time until May of 04. With that being said, I have been a bit reflective on some of the major things I have learned in this time. After yesterday’s post I realized that was only one of the major things I had learned so I wanted to share the rest. These things that I am sharing over the next two days are things that I had to learn the hard way and things that most people should learn – especially if you are in leadership at a church.
10. Gossip destroys people and organizations. – See yesterday’s post.
9. Find your voice. – Essentially know who you are. So many times people will get in ministry and they try and copy the newest fad or the current IT preacher and in the process deny the very uniqueness that God has given them. God gives you dreams and goals. He gives you a unique perspective. He gives you a past that only you have. Why then would you sacrifice your voice and the very things He has so graciously bestowed? (I know the answer :)) Here’s the deal…be who God has created you to be. Are their people that are not going to like you – I sure hope so! If you are a people pleaser instead of a God pleaser something is amiss and needs to be rectified. So find your voice and own it with confidence.
8. Doctrinally pure, culturally relevant. – The doctrine you hold frames everything else you do. Doctrine is important…period. Not really something I will discuss, mostly because their is nothing to discuss. However, the piece that so many miss or swing to far towards is the culturally relevant part. Look, I know all the arguments. Jesus’ message is culturally relevant for us today…blah blah blah. I don’t deny his relevancy…I deny ours. If Jesus is the one we are looking at or any of those other great peeps from the New Testament there is one giant thing thety have in common- being doctrinally pure and culturally relevant. So, yes I will do whaever I can to be both.
7. Details matter. – Yeeeeaaaahhhhhhh. I’m a dreamer, visionary, big picture guy…details are not my strong suit and it is those details falling to the way side that have been the cause of many a peoples and my own chagrin. Details matter, plain and simple. If you know your going to forget those things bring someone along side of you that can help you…otherwise its ministry suicide.
6. Christians are a giant pain in the butt. – I love the church! I am passionate about the church! My heart beats for bringing more people into a relationship with Christ – but Christians are a pain in the butt. Let’s just be honest here. It isn’t unbelievers who question every little thing you do, or want to argue about Rob Bell, Mark Driscoll, or John McCarthur or feel the need to proclaim “the right way” because they happened to be a youth sponsor 12 years ago. It’s not those that are far from God that split churches, argue about the color of carpet, or make it a point to ignore you for 11 months because you said the word sex in church. All that to say…they are still my brothers and sisters and I love them and would do anything for them…it just that sometimes I would rather tie them to a chair and leave them in a closet for a few days.
5. R-E-S-P-E-C-T. – Specifically for the leaders and authority over you. This has been one of the most difficult lessons for me to learn. Here is the reality I have found in myself and I continue to see in people throughout churches. If you don’t trust most of the leaders above or around you. If you think they are never doing anything right. If you feel slighted because you’re not informed of every aspect of church happenings. If you think the majority of the leaders are the issue in your organization. Let me clue you in. Odds are the issue is with you not them. If you are in leadership and yet show no support, submission, respect, or trust in the leaders that God has put all around you – understand that says more about your own character and insecurities then it does about the character and ability of those leaders. Believe me, I get it – of course I have always had authority issues – but the lack of respect for leadership undermines and destroys church unity to far greater extents than most other things.
So ther you have 10-6. Tomorrow I will flush out 5-1.