A WORD TO YOUNG MINISTRIES
I regularly play a particular cd whilst in the car, it has a number of songs on it that I really love, one particular one, was very much in my heart and mind these last few days, initially there was one line that seemed to grip me this time, but the more I pondered on the line, I felt the Lord speak to me, including saying to me, “you have learnt some painful lessons over the years, you need to pass them on to younger ministries”.
I have been preaching and in ministry for at least 55 years, initially with an Evangelical church, then I got exposed to the Pentecostal/ Charismatic Renewal that changed my life, and in those days the Evangelical church I was a part of was extremely antagonistic to the Pentecostal teachings. So I felt I had no choice but to move into the Pentecostal world. I have written previously and will write again that for 50+ years I have “lived the dream”. There were though numerous lessons, I had to learn, and often painfully that I wish in hindsight I had learnt and embraced much more quickly, which would have helped me in the journey and maybe, there would have been even more blessing and fruit, only the Lord knows the answer to that. That is why I feel I need to write these lessons I have learned down in a blog, and may young ministries learn quickly these lessons and not have any regrets in the future. I am now going to list some important lessons (not in any particular order) that I have learned.
- The essential need to have a Mentor/s and be accountable to him (or them).
In our denominations we will have authorities over us, but the degree we sincerely relate to them can be very minimal. The key word is we need to develop a RELATIONSHIP with a Mentor a learn to trust him. Many of the following points can be learned from your Mentor.
2. The importance of knowing your Calling and Gifting.
Firstly there MUST be the “call of God on your life”, Bible College can help you develop your ministry, but it is God who calls you to be either an Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist, Pastor or Teacher (Ephesians 4:11). Sadly many people can have a Calling but not know what their Gifting is. This is where a Mentor can help us, and of course good Bible teaching as well, I was initially taught you were either a Pastor or a Teacher, and for some years didn’t think I could teach, this LIMITED my ministry.
3. The need to work on our insecurities.
Sadly we often compare ourselves with others and wish “if only I could preach like that” we must learn to be the best ME. WE must let the Holy Spirit develop our spiritual authority and simple do what King David did. 1 Samuel 30:6 KJV But David encouraged himself in the Lord his God. David had to remind and encourage himself that God had called him and anointed him, and find his security in God. Insecure ministers limit the effectiveness of their ministry. Don’t yield to the temptation of becoming competitive just do your very best by the grace of God all the time.
4. Embrace PLURALITY
Ministry in NOT a one man band, no one has all the Gifts and ministries and abilities to fulfil every aspect of the work of the ministry, that is why we need to recognise the various Giftings in the Leadership Team, you may have been called to be the Captain of the team, but you can’t win the game on your own. Don’t hog the pulpit, the sheep do need to regularly and often hear the Shepherd’s voice, but the sheep need a “balanced” diet, and need to receive the ministry of the other giftings. Never forget the Trinity is a plural team, husband and wife are a plural team. The end result will be a quality balanced group of believers.
5. Be Christ centred not Ministry centred
We can get so caught up and so busy with the “work” of the ministry and because we know the right things to do and say, we can move into “auto pilot” and because we are so busy (often with secondary unimportant matters that others can and should do) there is not much time to spend in intimate fellowship with the Lord, never forget WITHOUT HIM YOU CAN DO NOTHING, remember the Apostles in Acts 6:2-4“It is not desirable that we should leave the word of God and serve tables. Therefore, brethren, seek out from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business; but we will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” the more quality time you spend in His presence, the more you will become aware of the ANOINTING AND AUTHORITY of God resting on you. Remember NEVER BE TO BUSY TO PRAY
6. When you pray expect God to speak to you in your spirit and through the Word, and through other ministries.
When I lectured on Leadership I would get a mature guy to come and share on HEARING THE VOICE OF GOD. We can learn to regularly hear the “still small voice of the Spirit” within us, as we learn to meditate on the Word of God, EVERY DAY I believe we can experience the Logos Word becoming a Rhema Word, that can change tour life and ministry. Always have an open ear and heart when other ministries speak as well.
7. Maintain and develop a teachable spirit, and be flexible but not gullible.
In Church History whenever God restored truth, there has always been three groups of people
(a) Those who embrace the truth
(b) Those who reject the truth
(c) Those who take the truth to extremes and it can actually end up a heresy.
Don’t ever have a “know it all” attitude, if you do, it will limit your personal and ministry growth. Be like the Bereans in Acts 17:11 These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so. NKJV. In the past 55 years I have seen at least half a dozen restored truths and emphases come into the Body of Christ, sadly I have seen rejection, embracing, and some taking it to extremes, those who have embraced the truth, has seen such blessing, and fruitfulness beyond their wildest dreams.
8. Never take for granted the bonus and privilege that so many of us have, in having a personal prayer language.
May we not neglect it, but use it DAILY, FREQUENTLY AND OF COURSE PRIVATELY, it is a major and important key not only in your personal walk with God but in your ministry too. One very successful Ministry friend now in heaven told me every time after a protracted time of praying in tongues God would birth a new ministry through him.
I am sure there are other keys that will help you, but may these get into your spirit so that you will “live the dream” too.
This is the chorus that got me starting to think about the about.
Lord I’m hungry for a mighty move of God, Lord I’m thirsty pour out your Holy Ghost,
I long to see the Hand of God MOVE MIGHTILY INSIDE OF ME, I’m hungry for a move of God.
Of course, we want to see “signs following” the anointed preaching of the Word of God, but more I want to see the Holy Spirit move mightily inside of ME I trust you do too.