In my last Tips and Tools, I began teaching Enjoying the Journey. In that teaching I wrote that the first thing you need to enjoy the Journey is your quiet time with God daily, continuing to build your relationship with Him. Then I wrote about the trap of being so task oriented that you ignore and hurt the people around you. Ministry is about people. Third, get Godly input before making decisions, while remembering that, as a leader, you are responsible for the decision you make. If we make a wrong decision admit it, correct it and move on. Fourth, I wrote about critics. all leaders receive criticism and all of us must listen to constructive criticism. Lastly, we discussed our relationship with our spouses. Spouses are our helpmates, and, as with our relationship with Christ, we must intentionally continue to build an intimate relationship with them and not take them for granted.
Children: Eph: 6:4 says “and you fathers do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord”. Take time to let your children know that they are important. Satan likes to attack our weakest link which often is time with our children. It is important that we keep a balance between our Ministry life and Family. A good guideline for the use of your time is first personal time with God, second, your family needs; the physical, emotional and Spiritual and lastly ministry time. Many children whose parents are in full time ministry feel that their parents are more concerned about others than them. Make sure that if you promise them something you follow through. What you do speaks louder than what you say.
Self:Mark 6: 30-32 Then the apostles gathered to Jesus and told Him all things, both what they had done and what they had taught. 31 And He said to them, “Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” For there were many coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat. 32 So they departed to a deserted place in the boat by themselves. NKJV
The scripture about shows us that Christ knew that after ministry the disciples needed rest. If you keep giving out and do not receive, you will burn out and become ineffective. What you put in will come out. Working 24-7 may sound spiritual, but in reality it is religious thinking and Satan’s way to burn you out before your time. Take time to refresh yourself. An interesting statistic I read is:
One week’s vacation increases ministry by one year.
Intimacy: Especially with those who are working with and for you. Leaders, you need to know the needs of your people, so that you can pray for them effectively. As a leader, it is your responsibility to pray for all your people. You cannot pray for them effectively if you do not take the time to know them and their families.
Numbers: You do what God calls you to do and he will add the numbers. Many people have unrealistic expectations.
Many people think that when they start ministry, people are going to flock to their ministry. But the reality is that it will take time for you to build a team that will be able to minister effectively to the people God has for you. Most overnight successes take ten to fifteen years. But as you are faithful with little God will continue to give much. Remember it’s about making disciples. God has sheep for you that will hear your voice. I encourage you to put your time, money, and effort into making disciples and releasing them for ministry. Remember sheep begat sheep. Not shepherds. Too often we spend all our time, money, and effort trying to attract people to our church and neglect making disciples. Most of our effort in trying to attract people to our church will bring in goats, not sheep. Goats cause confusion and disunity.
Friends: You need friends with whom you can relax and not talk shop. Take the time to cultivate friends that are trustworthy and accept you for who you are.
Ministry: As a leader, you are responsible to fulfill Eph 4:11-13 and He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.
You must release others for ministry if you are going to grow. Their methods might be different from yours but just as effective. However, there is one pitfall I would warn you about – what I call the Judas complex. These are people who transfer into your ministry who claim to identify with your vison and seem to be mature Christians. Let them walk with you at least six months to a year before putting them into a leadership position. Why? Because you do not know what baggage they are bringing with them. You also need to make sure their theology agree with yours. Many ministries were ruined because leaders laid hand on people who transfer into their ministry too quickly.
Communicate: One of the greatest tricks of Satan is to break the communication between leader and leaders and to break the communication between the leaders and their followers. It is a tool of war. One of the first things the enemy tries to do is to break the communication between the foot soldier and the generals so that confusion will reign in the ranks. As leaders, we must allow each leader to be candid with us and speak the truth in love. As leaders we must keep the vison before the people so that they know where you are leading them.
Priorities: Stick to God’s priority for the day. Set your priority daily as to how you will spend your time. If you do not control your time, someone else will and you will miss God’s priority for you that day.
Outside: Have a kingdom mentality. I encourage you to tithe into other ministries. Have a missions program that will encourage and help domestic and foreign ministries. God will bless back what you sow into others.
God: Remember, we Begin and End with God. If you are not taking the time to hear from God, to listen to that still small voice, you will be frustrated and there will be no joy.
Next time David Rinehart will be our guest speaker. David will be sharing on a new ministry that you all can help in equipping your fellow TMCI minister by sharing what books that have help you in your ministry.
Enjoying the journey,
Bishop Bob Coulter
Book I would recommend: Traveling Light by Max Lucado