Stepping Into Your Calling Ep. 08 – Jesus’ Definition of a Successful Ministry
Despite what the world might tell us God has a very different definition of what is success that is based on attendance, income or influence. However, this week we look at Jesus’ words in John 17 to see what is Jesus’ Definition of a Successful Ministry. I’ll give you a hint, often it is the exact opposite of what we would expect and it has more to do with faithfulness than effort.
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
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.
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