In the day of instant gratification, the desire to have overnight ministry successes is no surprise. I mean, the minimum needed is a website (if that), PayPal, and a Facebook account then - BAM! - you are in ministry! But are you?
When we inquire with each other on whether to start a ministry or not, we usually hear, “Of course, just step out and do it; we are all called to ministry.” And why wouldn’t we get that immediate popular response? After all, that is what has been taught for the last 10-20 years, right?
And that would be right; all are called to ministry. But are we right? What happened to the days of paying the cost for the anointing, and being in ministry as an occupation? But not everyone is called to that.
Scripture says that there is a standard of living to be considered as a leader – a life above reproach where accusation cannot even grow legs! Does this mean that a leader is perfect? No, of course not! A righteous man may fall but he gets up! Regarding church eldership, Paul states that the home of a leader should be in a functioning order.
Don’t get me wrong, I agree. These are all important qualities needed in leadership, however, they are not my greatest immediate concern. All these attributes can be easily be developed, and if the heart isn’t right, it will easily be revealed. But my main concern is this: Have we created a form of ministry that is flashy in nature yet not effective in nature? Paul put it like this in 2 Timothy, “A form of godliness but absence in power.”
Yes, it is true that we are seeing more and more people doing miracles and giving prophetic words. This is what’s referred to as “the work of ministry” – the everyday life of a follower of Jesus, and it is all so exciting! But what about the cost? What about laying down our life? There are many people who declare to be “ministers” or in “fulltime ministry” but lack influence; there is no effectiveness in what they are doing. Where is the impact? Facebook likes, shares, and comments do not equate to bringing change.
We are to change culture.
You know Jesus had to grow in the favor of God and in the favor of man? Yes, even Jesus! He didn’t even start His ministry until the age of 30. A friend of mine put it into perspective like this, “Westley, it took Jesus 30 years to prepare for just three years of ministry. So if it took Jesus that long, then who are we to get upset because something doesn’t happen in three months, let alone three years?”
See, it is not about how quickly we can get started or even how big of a splash we can make. It is about how long we last and how far the ripples go with our splash!
Imagine you wanted to be just like your favorite minister so you started following them. You knew you had a similar calling and that God would multiply it in your lifetime as well. Yet each time you go where he is, you are ignored and told not to come to the next place. Most of us would be devastated.
Well, this was Elisha’s experience. In pursuing the double portion from Elijah. He followed Elijah everywhere he went, however, Elijah was annoyed; he did not want Elisha coming but Elisha didn’t give up. Since the day he first met Elijah while plowing his father’s field, until the moment he saw his mentor cast off his mantle while disappearing on a fiery chariot, Elisha was persistent. Sadly, many of us, if not all, would give up in a heartbeat after the first day.
Jesus, Himself, was tested and tempted in the wilderness by Satan, but it was the Spirit of God the drove him to that place to be handed over. He was handed over in that moment, and tried for 40 days.
What is the point?
We need to ask ourselves if what we are producing is creating a long-lasting effect for the generations to come or just are we just producing a momentary flash in the pan?
Ministry is much more than creating a social media following and getting a book out. It is a service industry where we have two audiences to serve. First, we serve Heaven, God the Father. The tricky thing is for us to serve from love to Him because of love from Him. In many cases, we are trying to get Him to love us by serving Him but He loves us because He is love. We cannot work or perform for His love; we merely exist because of His love.
The second audience we serve is people, the other humans on the planet. For many of us, attending to others is challenging because it goes against self-preservation. Leading others can be a great challenge as people are not always pleased with being led. For instance, when Moses lead Israel out of Egypt, they were LEAVING SLAVERY and yet they still weren’t satisfied; they complained about Moses.
Ministry, in the sense of leading and occupation, isn’t for everyone. Thankfully, there are those who know that they know they are called to it and are willing to endure because enduring is paying the cost to see it through. That was me, I knew early on that I was called to ministry and even when I tried to walk away from it, I was hunted down by it. However, I would have not made it without knowing the practicalities of ministry, nor without having an environment that was not only theory but implementation as well.
This is my invitation to you.
For those of you who know you are called to pay the cost of making a substantial generational change in culture, JOIN ME! Join me for the training and equipping you need so that you can build something that will last.