A few years ago I made a list of the mistakes I'd made in ministry. This was number one. I stopped writing at one hundred and ten, but I didn't stop making mistakes so I guess at some point I need to continue the list. Thought maybe this might encourage someone out there who's in the thick of it.
Ministry is war. I thought it was a potluck. I was wrong.
Of course, ministry is a lot of other things as well, like relationships, and planning, and preparation, and experience. But at its core ministry is war. The battleground is where you live and work. The enemy is the “prince and power of the air.” Hanging in the balance are the eternal souls of men and women. They are not the enemy; never have been, never will be.
You are a soldier. Soldiers bleed, grow weary, and get shot at. You must learn to take orders. Decide early from whom you will take your orders. You have been asked to present yourself as a living sacrifice. It will be exciting. It will be dangerous. It will be the adventure of a lifetime.
Put on the full armor of God. Let you're battle cry be "faith, hope, and love." Pick up a towel and go to war. I'm convinced it's our greatest weapon.
There will be days when the sun will shine bright and life will be warm. Enjoy those days. There will be other days when you’ll swear the sun will never shine again. It will. Endure those days on your knees.
There will be times when people will follow you and moments when people will chase you. There will be moments when grateful people will speak so highly of you it will feel like a ticker tape parade. Beware those moments and yourself in them.
There will be other moments when people will speak ill of you and it will feel like the world is caving in. There will be times when you will marvel at how God is moving and other times when you’ll think God moved away. He hasn’t. Knock again.
Don’t be surprised when you get shot at; it happens to soldiers. Don’t panic when it feels like you’re losing; Jesus has already won. The battle you’re in may be in question, but the outcome of the war isn’t. You will not win every battle, but you can win the war. So, get over yourself, pick up a clean towel and keep fighting.
Don’t overestimate nor underestimate the enemy’s strength. Take your orders, obey them and march on.
Ministry is war; God is faithful. (Joshua 1)