I was thinking today about the reasons people fail in ministry. I don’t just mean full-time pulpit ministry either. What is it that causes people to not be doing what God has for them?
Here are the first three things you need to do to stay in ministry.
When we get off into sin, we can’t fulfill what God has for us. While at was at the Napkin Conference, Pastor Benny Perez told us that he started The Church at South Las Vegas seven years ago. In that seven year time frame, every church that had planted in that area of town had a moral failure in the leadership. He said the pastors primary fell in three areas: Greed, Sex, Power. I heard another person say it this way: the gold, the girls and the glory. If you think you are above temptation in any area, beware because then that’s where the enemy will most likely attack you.
While Jesus paid the price for your sin, there will be consequences here in this life. God will restore you to a place of service after repentance but it will take time and that’s the only resource that we have that is truly nonrenewable. Just skip the whole thing and guard your heart. You are one bad decision away from obscurity.
One of my favorites quotes about this is from the movies Galaxy Quest “Never give up, never surrender!” Another one is from Kenneth Hagin Jr. “I will not be defeated, I will not quit.” Paul told Timothy to fight a good faith fight (1 Timothy 6:12). So many of our battles in life are won simply by not quitting.
We have so many examples in the Bible of non-quitters:
David when he was pursued by Saul could have quit and we would have never been king. Would he had quit after he sinned and God punished him, we would not have the book of Psalms. Had he quit when his own son wanted to kill him, we would have never know him as “a man after God’s own heart”.
Noah didn’t cry, quit or complain when God asked him to build the ark. It took him 120 years. How long have you been building what God told you to do?
Joesph was thrown in prison because of the dream God gave him. What hardship’s are you willing to endure to keep living the dream?
Lions could not get Daniel to quit. What is it that you fear may eat you?
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were not swayed by the fire. What is burning you?
I could go on and on. (See Hebrews 11.)
Don’t Do It Alone
We have basically two groups of people we can’t do without: those we lead and those who lead us.
Let’s start with those we lead. Jesus could not do ministry by himself so what makes think we can? He recruited 12 and 70 and more to spread the gospel. If he ran his ministry how some people do as soon as He died and rose again and transcended into heaven the movement would have been dead. I have heard it said “There is no success without a successor”. There are no Lone Rangers in God’s kingdom. If you can do what you’re doing alone then you’re not serving God. Duplicate yourself in others.
Then we are to be under authority to have authority. I see many young ministers who make the mistake of thinking they need no accountability. That is wrong, stupid, and un-Biblical. You see, God speaks and administers authority through two avenues, direct and delegated. Where people go wrong is thinking all they need is a direct line from God. If you look at the Bible, however, you’ll see that God spoke to most of the people through delegated authority. that is to say he used someone else to speak to them. Submission is a dirty word in today’s culture but not in the culture of heaven.
Areas of submission:
One another – Ephesians 5:21
Those over you – Hebrews 13:17
Children to parents – Ephesians 6:1
Human institutions and authorities – 1 Peter 2:13-18
Church authority – 1 Peter 5:5
Wives to husbands – Ephesians 5:22
Body and soul submit to spirit – 1 Corinthians 9:27