LETTERS TO YOUNG MINISTERS’
Dear Minister, YOUR MINISTRY IS PECULIAR
A while back, I was having a conversation with a fellow minister, and we began to reminisce about events that happened years back. Then we began to ask about where certain people were now, men who took the landscape by storm, where is Prophet…? Where is Apostle…? Unfortunately, we didn’t know. We surely knew them as runners, but we don’t know whether they are still in the race. In truth, the gifts and callings of God are irrevocable, but the expressions can die.
Clearly, ministry is not just about making waves, being a shooting star or becoming a flash in the pan sensation. God’s plan is that we stay long, fulfil our days and fulfil our ministry. You must therefore not think about, shining, but about staying. Staying through with God’s plan for your life, so that like Paul of old you can say, ‘I HAVE FOUGHT THE GOOD FIGHT, I HAVE FINISHED THE RACE, I HAVE KEPT THE FAITH’ 2 Tim 4:7. It is not about starting the race, it is about finishing the race.
Today, I just want to share certain things with you about the race of ministry:
1. IT IS NOT A RAT RACE. Let’s start with the definition, a rat race is a way of life in which people are caught up in a fiercely competitive struggle for wealth or power. One thing you must conquer daily is the spirit to compete; don’t compete for anything, for space, time or people, you are for yourself and by yourself, you are not enlisted as someone’s enemy. You are in competition to fulfil purpose. You are running against yourself, and running towards attainment of your purpose. No one is in your race with you!
Ministry is not like all other races, we don’t have only one winner, we all can be winners. We all can win! God has called you to start a church. Fantastic! The churches in the neighbourhood are not your competitors, we all complement each other. Someone’s ministry doesn’t have to go down, for yours to go up. We are the called of God, not the crabs of God. Don’t die in the struggle — many people are bitter in ministry because like Paul said, they are unwise, they compare themselves with others. 2 Cor 10:12
2. IT IS PERSONAL TO YOU. Your race is individual to you. Don’t do things because others are doing it. Live by your convictions and choose His leadings. Don’t start anything without divine backing. I know people who started programmes because it is the fad — I mean everybody had a ‘night of power’ programme. But God doesn’t work with fads, and because it is popular doesn’t mean God is in it. Dare to be different!
He only blesses that which He has ordained. It doesn’t matter how much sense it makes to start, if it doesn’t emanate from the Holy Spirit, then it is senseless. Stay with your call, teach God’s mind, and stick with His mandate for your life. You are uniquely you — your message has its audience.
3. CHRIST IS THE FINISH LINE. The finish line is the end goal for every race. What is the end goal? It is not fame, it is not building a cathedral, it is not pastoring thousands, or ministering to millions, the end goal is Christ. He is the benchmark- we are running a race to Him — we are becoming more like Him. Christs longing arms is the goal — that we may hear Him say, ‘welcome home, dearly beloved, you have done my will, and you have fully expressed my plan…’ He is our aim, our end and master.
4. RUN WITH GOD. Many people run with others, a few run with their visions, but the wise run with God. He is the one always charting new courses, extending the lane and opening new frontiers. I know many people who are running with their visions, but they have become outdated, they aren’t listening to what God is saying now, Bishop T. D. Jakes preached a while back on ‘God has moved on’. And that is the mystery about God, though He is unchanging as to His character, plans and purposes, His methods of achieving them are always changing.
Dear Minister, you must stay resolutely connected to God, so that His heartbeat can be your passion, and His pleasure your pleasure, and His word your light. I hope my 8th letter met you well and that this helps you along your journey. Grace to you!
Your Greatness is Assured