I wish there were some way I could talk to more young guys going into the ministry. I wish I could encourage them in some way about what their life will be like. I wish God would allow me to show them where a few pot holes are so that maybe they could side step them. But there isn’t much of a chance of that happening anytime soon unless God does the unexpected… so maybe someone reading this can get it to someone who could use it.
My first thought is this: You will have more joy and blessings than you can imagine! There is nothing like seeing God turn on the light in a person when they come to Christ! There is no greater joy than seeing people honor God as they live their life. You will get to know many wonderful godly people that God will use to bless you… and that is special. You will be honored to be a part of God calling people into ministry. You will be able to walk with God’s people through many good times (Birth, Salvation, Weddings) and hard times (Death, loss of job, sickness)… and in both of them God will display His power. You will see seasons of God’s blessing, provision, strengthening, work, and power. You will be amazed at the things God will do that you did not expect. There will be many days when joy will overflow from your heart as you watch Him transform people into powerful witnesses. You will have more mothers and grandmothers than you can shake a stick at! You will make more lifetime friends than you can imagine. There are long stretches of time where you will have just plain fun being in the ministry! Then it will hit you one day… YOU GET PAID to pray, preach, study God’s Word, and visit His people (How cool is that?!). Note: It is indeed a great thing to consider that GOD has chosen to use you to do His work. There is no greater honor than that.
My second thought is: Make sure you are called by God. My dad told me, “If there is anything else you can do and be in God’s will, do that.” There are some times and days that the only thing that will keep you in the ministry is knowing God called you. Do not allow anyone else to make this decision for you… not your parents, church member, sibling, pastor, or anyone else. Also… do NOT think that failure in everything else means you must be called into the ministry (That is not sound reasoning).
My next thought is: Be prepared to suffer hardship and difficulty… there is no escaping them. EVERY person who goes into ministry will suffer. The reason is there are wolves among the sheep… there are tares among the wheat. There is an adversary that will oppose you and do everything he can to discourage you. If he is allowed, he will do anything he can to make you quit. Don’t quit… don’t give up… don’t give in! See point above.
Important: Love God’s People! That means you treat them all with kindness and respect. The people you serve are The Bride of Christ… treat them as such! ALWAYS protect, strengthen, encourage, and support them. Do not say or do anything to hurt them because Jesus will take that personally. If you love God, you WILL love His people!
Another thought is: Be wise as a serpent and harmless as a dove. Don’t play political games with God’s people. Keep your cards above the table. Be the same with everyone. Keep your word. Be honest. Have integrity. Don’t gossip… about anyone… to anyone (If a person will gossip about someone else to you, they will gossip to someone else about you). If someone is going to give the church a black eye, don’t be the one doing it!
Here’s one you really need to know: Have a tough, thick skin. People are going to misunderstand you… misrepresent you… say unkind things about you… and do things that hurt you and your family. It comes with the territory. Welcome to the ministry. If they did it to Jesus, what makes you think it will be any different with you? This will include turning the other cheek when someone says things about you that aren’t true.
Next: Seek to glorify God in everything (Philippians 1:27a).
Last: DO NOT WHINE! Whining exposes a lack of faith in God. God’s people don’t like listening to whining ministers either. There are people in the church who have it worse than you ever will… they need to know that God will sustain them and you will show that by how you live!
God help me be the kind of person from whom those things flow…
Thats a good list for ministers to review to help them keep their focus.
So when will this book be written? Who better to write it?? A message that is vital for all ministers. Have there ever been seminars by SBC geared toward young men who are going into or are new in the ministry? If not, there should be one at every convention or maybe one specifically designed to stand alone.