Welcome to the first episode of Stepping Into Your Calling, in this episode I lay out the three pillars I believe everyone in ministry of those who want to be apart of the ministry one day have to develop in their lives. What are they? Stay tuned and find out!
My preface on the series from Facebook
Originally I was going to launch this video without any fanfare or introduction, but considering everything going on. I felt led to start a series like this back in July while I was visiting family back in Winnipeg.
I wanted to continue doing Life Beyond Church and maintain (mostly) the tone and format of the podcast but I wanted to reach out to a part of the church while as ironic as it sounds tends to get neglected, I felt it was time to begin to reach out to those in ministry or those who have a desire to become part of it one day. In my personal life this was nothing new as I seem to have an uncanny spiritual gifting to “end up behind the curtain” so to speak at churches and I typically spend more time with staff and pastors than I do members of the general congregation.
This has driven my heart to want to see preachers/pastors/ministers succeed in their work, but not just in a a financial or attendance basis. But in matters of their heart, mind and relationship with God. Because those in ministry run the risk of becoming the most isolated and insulated members of the church.
This desire lead to the three pillars I speak about in the video, and especially the third one, which is quite controversial in our day and age.
Really what made me want to preface all of this is the severity of that third pillar. I wrote the basic script for this video 2-3 weeks ago and I recorded it on Aug 19 with the intention to post if on the 26th.
But then in my usual breakfast/social media catch up time (devotional time comes after that) I came across the open letter posted by Jeremiah Johnson Ministries which was in response to / a commentary of the fireworks started by Stephen Powell (Lion of Light Ministries) it felt all the more appropriate to have this video go up today as planned and to kick off this new (hopefully) weekly series.
Because really I’m tired of seeing this merry-go-round of ministries going from booming to failing happening. That we put in so much effort to get people to church and then allow, encourage, or turn a blind eye to those in charge to live worse off then those outside of the church.
I know the third pillar in the video will get me lots of flak, but it comes form a place of seeing these failings first hand (and second hand through elders and board members) and how people sacrifice relationship with God, accountability and the lives of others in continuing to feed the Great Ministry Machine.
We’ve associated holiness with legalism and are no longer able to separate the two. So we end up with broken churches attracting broken people to support a broken system. Which is far beyond what the church and ministry should look like. Yes we welcome broken people into the church but we do so so they can find a relationship with Christ, to find atonement and to be loved and supported so they can begin to look like Jesus here in this world. Not so they can look like so and so, or to get a participation ribbon from a self improvement conference.
I’m tired of seeing a results based Christianity which is guided more by pragmatism than it is the leading of the Holy Spirit. The reality is that ministry is supposed to be an overflow of your relationship with God; not how loud you talk, or how many followers you have or how many miracles happen.
Maybe that’s why I’ve always found myself working closely with pastors behind the scenes because for the most part they don’t have a support network or people they can go to. Either out of fear of showing weakness to members of the congregation/ministry which leaves them unable to have deep conversations about their own doubts and struggles. Or they have uncertainties or questions about certain doctrines which again could get them ostracized. Or on a darker level they isolated themselves so others cannot discover the things they are struggling with so they can keep their jobs.
If you’ve made it this far into my rant I hope that these words and the video will help you draw closer to Jesus you’ll begin to see ministry from a different perspective. A perspective which places God’s face (relationship) and words (scripture) above all else.