As one called into ministry, this can be a scary question to encounter.
There's a very real danger for all of us who have been called into ministry... that we would become so intensely focused on the 'doing' of ministry that we would neglect our need to 'be' with Jesus.
Maybe you've experienced this. Or maybe you've experienced the ministry leadership of someone who has experienced this. You might not be able to quickly put your finger on it, but it is much more noticeable than we might think.
When we, as Christian leaders, cease to intentionally follow Jesus and instead, begin to rely on ourselves, we quickly run out of anything real substantive to offer others. The reservoirs of faith that we may have made deposits in over the course of our lifetime of following Jesus will only keep us going for so long... and that doesn't account for what we must 'have' in order to 'give' to others.
Vital to our calling as ministers of the gospel of Jesus Christ is that we 'know' Him. We must be able to serve others, and share with others, out of the abundance of what Jesus is currently doing in our lives... and NOT out of the memory of what He did - once upon a time.
The challenge for us comes in being willing to set aside the 'doing' of ministry long enough to 'be' with Jesus. It means taking seriously our own ongoing spiritual formation, such that we have something genuine, authentic and alive to offer the students we serve. It's recognizing that we cannot give to others something we do not have ourselves.
Yes, there's a real danger in Jesus becoming our 'business' instead of our passionate pursuit. When we are not serving out of an abundance of what He is doing in our lives, but instead, relying on the fumes of what once was... than we are entering dangerous territory. Our ability to lead others in the ways of Jesus become more about what we think, or remember, and less about what we are actively and presently knowing to be true.
The love and adoration that first drew us to Jesus, that may have even served as the springboard by which we were launched into full-time service, must always be what fuels us and keeps us for and keeps us in ministry leadership of others.
Yes, IF Jesus becomes 'business' than we have ceased to be the ministers we were once called to be.
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
Are you leading out of an abundance of what Jesus is doing in you?
How have you been challenged in this area of faith and leadership?
What are some of the bigger challenges you face in feeding yourself and feeding others?
What would you suggest to someone who might be struggling to find balance in the time they devote to themselves and the time they give to others?
Join the conversation by leaving your comments below!
Grace and peace.