If you are a minister or preacher, I'm sure this would bless your life. Enjoy!
1. Value Calling over Vocation
No other occupation, job, or profession is like the ministry. It stands in a class by itself. It is more than a career—it is a holy calling. The man of God does not simply prefer to be a preacher rather than a plumber, carpenter, doctor, teacher, or farmer. Ministry is not a job preference, it is an unquenchable yearning that shouts, “Necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!” People do not appoint you, elect you, or select you to be a man of God—it is a holy and sacred conviction. Ministry must be an anointed calling. You have to be a little brainsick to sign up for this job otherwise.
2. Value Sacrifice over Shortcuts
We are living in a copy and paste world. It is now common for preachers to replace hearing from God with a quick Google search. Don’t have time to dig out a sermon? No problem – there are millions of them online. It is great to find inspiration from various sources, but shortcutting your way to anointed preaching will produce little fruit.
Nothing can replace study, prayer, and sacrifice. Many want the ministry that others have, but are not willing to pay the price. The ones that God uses the greatest usually have suffered greatly. Being called into the ministry is a high honor that brings abundant blessings. Yet ministry is not for attention grabbing self-promoters; it is a call to servanthood. A preacher must give up to go up.
Building a church, developing character, and growing a ministry takes time and a lot of hard work. Warren Wiersbe, in his book God Isn’t In A Hurry, said, “If you are interested in the praise of men, then use the shortcuts and publicize your statistics. But if you are interested in the glory of God, stick with God’s methods – the Word, prayer, witnessing, sacrifice, and suffering – and leave the results with him. After all, it is ‘God who gives the increase’ (1 Corinthians 3:7).”
3. Value Righteous Ambition over Unrealistic Expectations
No ministry will accomplish much without holy ambition. Righteous zeal and passion are essential ingredients for ministry. I question the calling of someone who has no passion for growth.
Everyone wants to matter. But how we strive to matter can make us or break us. Nothing wrong with ambition. Nothing wrong with wanting to better oneself. The problem arises when unrealistic expectations supersedes righteous ambition.
Many preachers have fallen prey to the delusion of unreal expectations. I recently heard a preacher essentially say, “I am a good preacher, when will it be my turn to preach at conference?” Proverbs 18:16 says, “A man’s gift maketh room for him, and bringeth him before great men.” A man’s gift will create opportunities. Work on your gift, hone you skill through study and prayer, then go find a way to humbly use your gift as the doors open.
Paul charged young Timothy to be instant in season and out of season (2 Timothy 4:2). Being instant comes from two Greek words meaning “at the position of” and “to bid to stand by.” Being instant literally means “stand by at your position.” Man of God stand ready to preach the Word. Ministry is a process, be patient.
4. Value Discipleship over Merely Counting Numbers
God’s plan for ministry is to win souls and train disciples. Too often we focus most of our attention on the number of people who were saved, over the need for discipleship. Counting those who are baptized and filled with the Spirit is certainly vital, but discipleship must be considered our primary purpose for evangelism. The Lord added to the church the ones that were saved (Acts 2:47). ”Added to” means to “proceed to, a marker of an immediately following event” and “add to an existing quantity.” Real addition is discipleship. The church must be evangelistic, but we must also train disciples.
5. Value Honoring Authority over Seeking Position
God’s power works through a prescribed principle of authority. No one of us is “in” authority, but we all must be “under” authority. Talents, gifts, money, influence, and ability are not the criteria for authority. Accountability and leadership that is solely based on gifts will lead people into rebellion. Every ministry needs a close relationship of accountability. No ministry gets too big, too successful, or too anointed that it doesn’t need accountability. A position without proper submission to authority can lead to a spirit of entitlement.
Advancement in the Kingdom of God is not only related to submitting to proper authority, but to honoring authority. Honor in the Biblical context means assigning high value. It is more than being polite or respectful. We put “stuff” in boxes and store them in the garage, but the things we value have a place of prominence. It is imperative that young ministers place high value on their elders, especially their fathers in the faith.
6. Value Anointing over Marketing and Technology
Living in a world of escalating technology brings a mixed bag of blessings and curses. Technology provides an abundance of tools that have a huge visual impact in ministry. Lights, videos, and cool graphics help connect this visual generation to ministry. Technology also enhances marketing and branding.
Personally I love technology. I don’t miss typing my sermons on an old typewriter (yes I’m that old). Yet having a plethora of techno stuff can be dangerous. Technology can never take the place of the tried and true anointing of the Holy Ghost. Many generations before us had mighty revivals without an iPad. It is the anointing that breaks the yoke, not fog and lights. It the anointing that will bring deliverance, not cool videos. Again, technology is here to stay and it has a place in ministry, but it must never supersede the anointing!
7. Value Purity over Popularity
The greatest asset to a young man of God is his character. Gifts and talents may make one popular, but purity is essential to stand before the presence of God. The holiness of a man begins with having a pure heart.
Acts 8 tells of a sorcerer called Simon who believed, was baptized, and continued with Philip (Acts 8:13). Simon was no fly-by-night person, he was a professional. He had the entire city under his spell. He was shrewd. He was sharp. He was popular. When he saw the mighty move of the Holy Spirit he was impressed. He told Peter, “Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost” (8:19)
Simon seemingly wanted the power to advance his popularity. His greatest offense wasn’t his quest for power. His greatest sin was not his love of money. His greatest wrongdoing was not that he tried to buy Apostolic ministry. Simon’s greatest problem was that his heart was not right with God.
Value your purity above preaching. Jesus said, “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God” (Matthew 5:8).
Author: Pastor Tim Gill