The most important element in building and sustaining growth is developing a healthy mind, attitude, heart and spirit as a leader
We’ve all heard about older ministers burning out and younger pastors giving up, but that doesn’t have to be your story | by Dale O’Shields
“So I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have.” 2 Peter 1:12
We tend to remember things we need to forget and forget the things we need to remember. You may have the following twelve truths firmly established in your life. Just to remind us all again, let me draw from over 40 years of ministry and review these truths for you.
1. MINISTRY IS A PRIVILEGE.
When we serve the Lord with gladness, it’s hard to harbor a sense of entitlement. Grumbling about our situation is hard to do when we realize that ministry is truly a privilege.
2. YOUR SPIRITUAL GROWTH IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY.
Your spiritual growth is up to you. It is your own responsibility. Refuse just to “do ministry” and forget investing in growing your own relationship with Jesus. No one can do your praying for you. No one can build your relationship with Jesus for you.
3. MAKE SURE TO KEEP PEOPLE AS THE PRIMARY FOCUS OF MINISTRY.
Don’t let your ministry become simply about projects and programs. If you love God, you absolutely will love people. When you talk about attendance and numbers of people responding to Jesus, remember that those numbers are people. What’s more, each of those people carry forward a ripple effect because the people you have helped meet Jesus will in turn help others meet him.
4. RESPONSIBILITY AND PRESSURE ARE THE PRIMARY TOOLS GOD WILL USE TO MAKE YOU GROW.
This one is pretty self-explanatory. If you pray for God to make you grow, be prepared that He will allow pressure in your life that will refine you and make you stronger.
5. THE PATHWAY TO PROMOTION IS FOUND IN TAKING WHAT YOU’VE BEEN GIVEN AND DOING SOMETHING WITH IT.
Promotion is a result, not an aim. If you’re faithful and fruitful with what you’ve been given, promotion will follow. Take what you’ve been given and do something with it.
6. YOUR HARVEST IS ALWAYS DETERMINED BY THE SEEDS YOU SOW.
The seeds you plant today will produce your harvest tomorrow. Both how much seed you plant and what kind of seed you plant matter immensely because they determine what you’ll harvest tomorrow. So many of our worries about tomorrow could be overcome by planting plenty of the right seed today.
7. YOUR MOST IMPORTANT RESOURCE IS TIME.
Your time is your life. The truth is, all people are given the same amount of time in a week: 168 hours. There’s nothing you can do to get more. Once time is spent, it is gone. It is a non-renewable resource. Spend it wisely.
8. YOU ARE POWERLESS TO MAKE ANY SPIRITUAL IMPACT IN OTHERS; ONLY JESUS HAS THAT POWER.
Jesus says, “I am the vine, you are the branches” (John 15:5). Remember this: Jesus is the vine and you are not. Apart from Jesus, you cannot accomplish anything to transform lives. But when your work is fueled by Jesus and His love for people, lives will be transformed.
9. REMEMBER THE VALUE AND IMPORTANCE OF HONOR.
In Robert Barriger’s book Honour Found, he wrote concerning the importance of honoring others that we should give honor in five directions:
- Honor those in authority over you.
- Honor those who have gone before you. It is upon their shoulders you stand
- Honor those around you.
- Honor those coming behind you.
- And most of all, in all you do, honor God.
10. ENJOY THE JOURNEY.
It’s difficult, especially when you’re just starting something, to remember to enjoy the journey. Breathe in deeply along the way and take in the sights. Don’t be so focused on where you’re going that you miss the joy of all the experiences along the way.
11. MANAGE THINGS WELL.
What you manage well increases. This is what we are all hoping to do—to increase the impact of changed lives in our communities and our world for the cause of Jesus Christ.
12. THE SECOND MILE IS IMPORTANT.
When you go the first mile, you’re simply fulfilling an obligation. But the second mile is where you begin to make an investment and you earn influence. Don’t underestimate the power of going the second mile.