Life and ministry are sometimes very difficult. The internal and external pressure and stress sometimes leaves us feeling depleted and discouraged. When we feel this way for an extended amount of time, we all feel the God-given need to retreat. We are like an athlete in the NCAA tournament who has played a great game and needs to get his body and mind ready for the next game two days later. We are like a NASCAR driver who needs to come in for fuel to be able to finish the race. God made us all dependent beings and has made us with the need to retreat and hide out. The question we must answer is where are we hiding? Where do we run when we are running on E?
2018 - Ready, Set, Go!
There is something special and energizing about finishing one season and starting another—this is especially true with regards to a new year. There seems to be organic momentum and fresh anticipation regardless of what we experienced in the last year. How can we pour gasoline on this to maximize the momentum? Here are four of the things I’ve seen produce the most fruit in my life.
Do you want to stay faithful to your calling for the rest of your life? Do you want to stay faithful to your wife until death do you part? Do you want to stay faithful to Jesus until He takes you home?
Over the past few years, many Christian leaders who I look up to have “fallen away.” Some have burned out and others have had a complete moral failure. With these leaders heavy on my heart, I have been searching the Scriptures trying to learn how to prevent this in my own life and the lives of my friends who are in ministry.
To be effective in ministry, the gospel must be central in everything we do: every sermon we preach, every devotional we write, all of our small group curriculum, and in every aspect of the life of our churches. If the gospel is not central, our churches will be built on sand and will eventually collapse into a religious relic or a glorified version of a self-help pep rally. If we’re not preaching the gospel, we are preaching a cubic zirconia version of the divine diamond of the universe- the gospel.
This one thing has been behind EVERY spiritual leader who has ever been disqualified. This one thing is behind EVERY moral failure in a person’s life. This one thing is behind EVERY broken marriage. This one thing will either ruin or fuel our lives, marriages, and ministries. This one thing is: the Secret Places of our lives and hearts.
Who are you when nobody's watching?
God often uses student outreach events to multiply ministry momentum, attract the lost, and create space for discipleship to take place. They are an absolute game changer for the life and effectiveness of a student ministry. But, HOW do we execute a student event with excellence to reach MORE students with the gospel, get the MOST momentum, and give God MORE glory?
Do you want to reach lost students in your city with the gospel? Do you want to help your students become more like Jesus? Do you want to multiply the ministry momentum that your church is experiencing? If you’re a student pastor, I hope the answer to those questions is resounding YES. If it’s not, you should probably quit your job and try to get a job at Starbucks. But, for the rest of us, I believe there is a way to multiply ministry momentum, attract the lost, and create space for discipleship with STUDENT EVENTS.
It's more important than systems, strategies, and staffing. It’s more important than learning, growing, and disciplines. It’s more important than your team, your kids, and even your marriage. If we get this, we will enjoy ministry more, be exponentially more effective, reach many more people, and have a greater possibility of finishing well. If we don’t get this, we will fall into joyless duty, spin our wheels in meaningless hard toil, and have a greater possibility of quitting early.
Pastors struggle just like everyone else. We believe lies that cripple our ministries and lead us to operate out of fear rather than out of love. We are discouraged more than we'd like to admit. Here are some of the lies that we believe, that we need to drag into the light if we're going to thrive in ministry.