The deeper we grow in our theology, the deeper our discernment must be in applying theology in our practice of ministry.
Lack of common sense is one of the key ingredients to early termination in ministry positions. We must be on guard, protect, and passionately pursue the integrity of the Gospel in our everyday lives. Here are some common sense tips for ministry. I’m welcome to hear more to add to this list!
- You are called to lead your family before you are responsible to lead a ministry. Too many folks are sacrificing their families for ministry success. We can’t afford to lose what is most valuable to us. Paul wrote to young Timothy, “For if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church?” – 1 Timothy 3:5, ESV You are the manager of your schedule. Do you intentionally plan time with your family? With friends? I would suggest planning events with your spouse and family for approval before ministry scheduling. You never want to surprise your spouse with events! Also, invite your family to every event and trip, when appropriate. They will cherish the memories made with you.
- You are called to lead ministry with God-centered wisdom and integrity. The Scriptures teach us, “The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom, and whatever you get, get insight” Proverbs 4:7, ESV Theology should naturally produce wisdom and common sense. In other words, the more we study and know God…the more we should embrace His characteristics in our daily living.
- God-centered wisdom should kindle common sense in your life and ministry. Don’t ride in a car with another female who is NOT your wife. Don’t go into a room and close the door with another female…unless you have positioned the room so that others can see and help you. Don’t bash your pastor. Don’t overcrowd vehicles for trips. Enforce Modesty. Dress to fit the ministry scene. Report and Document every injury on every trip. So many more can be added to this list.
- God-centered wisdom should kindle integrity in your life and ministry. Don’t abuse office time. Don’t steal money. Surround yourself with accountability. Avoid pride or arrogance when it comes to talking about your ministry to others. Strive to be above reproach (Titus 1:7) Have your quiet times at home…away from work. Don’t use your budget for personal resources. Again, more can be added to this list.
- You are called to glorify God in your ministry. The Psalmist teaches us, “Not to us, O LORD, not to us, but to your name give glory, for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness!: – Psalm 115:1, ESV Your ministry exists for the glory of God and the advancement of His Gospel. Lead it with that goal in mind! Eric Geiger writes, “The smell of the numerous programs cluttering our student ministries overwhelms the aroma of Christ. Busy calendars, lost focus, over programmed weeks, and directionless ministries have steered us away from our core mission.” – Simple Student Ministry: A Clear Process of Strategic Youth Discipleship by Eric Geiger and Jeff Borton Plan and lead your ministry with the goal of glorifying God…not creating clutter. Your ministry is not a private island, but part of the overall shore that is known as God’s church. Your ministry is identified in Jesus and His church, not just a random name that looks good on a shirt. Protect your ministry at all costs with the truth.
Ministry is a privilege.
Enjoy this privilege.
What would you add?
Soli Deo Gloria,