Those Who Stand With You Today...

WARNING! this blog may be a little edgy today. Sorry, not sorry.

Ministry life comes with as many victories as it does obstacles. How does one thrive in the calling to ministry? Here are a few of my tips from 22 years in church ministry:

Years ago I adopted the phrase, “those who stand with you today, will one day stand against you”. Believe me when I tell you that we have experienced this more times than I care to recall. Serving with members and building friendships only to hear through the gossip grapevine they’re leaving the church. Guess they just forgot to mention it.

The painful part is how people go about leaving - usually mad and toting baggage. Let me help you out here: leaving mad and angry means you take it with you to the next church and guess what, you’ll leave mad and angry from that church too. It will become your cycle, so may I suggest that you resolve the conflict before you leave? Don’t leave mad. How in the world can you have a healthy relationship with the Lord if you’re mad at other believers? “If anyone boasts, “I love God,” and goes right on hating his brother or sister, thinking nothing of it, he is a liar. If he won’t love the person he can see, how can he love the God he can’t see? The command we have from Christ is blunt: Loving God includes loving people. You’ve got to love both.” 1 John 4:20 The Message. I know, we haven’t mentioned “hating” but I promise if you don’t deal with your mad angry self, the issue will progress to hate. However, if you must make such a dramatic departure, in the words of NeNe, “don’t let the door hit ya where the good Lord split ya”...

The reality is adversity happens all the time, but how we handle it will determine the outcome:

1-We can erect imaginary walls of protection but that is not the answer, trust me I’ve tried to justify the walls but it’s simply not in the Word. Building walls around ourselves to keep each other out is not the picture of how the body of Christ is to function. I recently heard a minister say, “I will never trust anyone ever again.” Ouch! I have used those very words myself and I must say that’s the exact response the enemy wants from us, isolation.

2-Being completely vulnerable is not the answer either but allowing discernment to guide us will keep us from overindulging in unhealthy relationships. (Some of you aren’t over the NeNe quote yet are you?)

3-My personal favorite and greatest challenge is to allow God to heal the broken place and bring restoration but if you’ve made up your mind to leave a church then by all means you should go. Wouldn’t it be better to leave with healthy relationships than to leave in a mess because the mess goes with YOU?

How do I implement these teaching in my own life?

How do we find the balance between a healthy trust and vulnerability?

How is it possible to allow Christ to heal the brokenness brought into our lives?

It’s a choice. It’s our choice to allow the truth of the Word to illuminate the dark places in our hearts that cause our vision to be clouded. No, seriously! We have a choice to make everyday and everyday we must choose to honor God.

“So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.” James 4:17 ESV

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