In a previous post I wrote about where are you heading in your ministry. Whilst it is important to steward your ministry well, most of us won’t stay in the same ministry our entire life. So how do you work out a vision and direction for your life that fits into what God is doing within the ministries that you are planted?
When I was younger I thought my youth group was the best thing I had ever done. Every Sunday night I would go to Church, during the week we would catch up, I would write talks, help out with meetings and do whatever was needed. After three years of giving everything I had to this ministry I started to see life after the youth group. It was like I grew out of the youth ministry as I grew older and I needed to move on. Since then I have seen the same pattern repeat itself within every ministry I have served in; it is just the length of time that changes. Sometimes it is six months sometimes three years sometimes 10 years.
In your life have you seen this pattern in ministry:
- Discover a new ministry
- Soak up everything you can from the group
- Devote everything you have to the ministry
- Pass on everything you do to other leaders
- Move onto the next phase of your life
It is Ok to spend a season in a ministry and move on.
The challenge for us is to be guided by what God is calling us to rather than drifting from ministry to ministry. If you are going to stay in ministry long enough to contribute, you have to go through a period where it may not be as enjoyable as when you first started. If you leave a ministry when ever it is no longer enjoyable then you are not moving by God’s call but by your own desires.
Here are four things to help you determine where you should be heading personally:
- What is your calling? Your calling doesn’t usually look like a job description. It isn’t often that your life’s call is Year 12 Geography teacher at Summer Bay High. Your calling is some way that you will make a different in the world so describe it in unique ways. Your calling is most likely not just the things that you are good at but the things that make you stronger as a person and as a disciple. Your calling will never draw you away from God but will help you build God’s Kingdom in a special way.
- What season are you in? You may be in a season of growth; you may need a season of rest. You need to reflect on what season you are in because God may be asking you to sow into a particular ministry for a particular time. If you feel you must commit somewhere for the rest of your life then you may miss the opportunity to sow into a great ministry for a short period of time.
- What are you preparing for? Are you developing your craft for a future season? We can be so focused on what we are doing now that we forget we need to be preparing for what is next. This might be further study, it might be connecting with mentors who are at the next level, it might be reading more books or developing your platform. Even if you are in a season of great productivity you should be preparing for the future.
- What is your life’s work? Sometimes you need to imagine how you will view your life after you retire. Whilst most of us have no idea about every single job that we will hold in our life, it is important to focus on what significance your life will make as a whole. Some people will have three or four ministries throughout their life others will serve in 10-15 different places. What difference will your life make as a whole in the Kingdom of God?
Whilst this might sound focused on you, I really believe that we have to let God be God. We have to constantly be asking God how can I serve you? It is not our vision but God’s vision that we should be following. If you are heading nowhere in your life then you will get there. If you want to be heading in the right direction then you have to be looking to God.
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