When I stepped into ministry leadership, I had no idea what I was getting into. There was a need and I felt strongly that I could and should fill it. I did it because it meant something to me and I wanted to preserve it for others so that they could experience it the same way I did.
But God had bigger plans.
Many times throughout my service, God showed up in unlikely places. He took me to the edge of my human ability and forced me into places that required faith. Never letting me down, he always showed up. Through my service to this ministry, my faith grew as God revealed himself to me in new ways and drew me closer to Him.
If you have eyes to see and ears to hear, I know he will do the same for you. Through your ministry leadership, you will have your own God moments and you’ll be able to cherish them for a lifetime.
Divulge me a bit as I cite Joshua chapter one because I think it is applicable to your journey from here. This is where God tells Joshua that it’s time for him to take over and lead the people into the Promised Land.
Joshua 1 New International Version (NIV)
Joshua Installed as Leader
1 After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ aide: 2 “Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them—to the Israelites. 3 I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses. 4 Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the great river, the Euphrates—all the Hittite country—to the Mediterranean Sea in the west.5 No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsakeyou. 6 Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them.
7 “Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. 8 Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
10 So Joshua ordered the officers of the people: 11 “Go through the camp and tell the people, ‘Get your provisions ready. Three days from now you will cross the Jordan here to go in and take possession of the land the Lord your God is giving you for your own.’”
Joshua Insights for Ministry Leadership
Joshua One is full of guidance for you as you begin your journey as the leader of this ministry. We see:
Trust God’s promises – Joshua 1:3
Remember, God is with you, he won’t leave you, and you’ve been called to lead. – Joshua 1:5-6
If you know God’s word and you follow it, you will be successful. – Joshua 1:7-8
“Be strong and courageous” is repeated many, many times because you’re going to need strength and courage.
The people follow Joshua. Joshua doesn’t do it alone. He has God and he has the people. You will need God and you will need other people to make this happen.
*** Andy Stanley is a wealth of knowledge for ministry leaders. This book uses baseball as an analogy for ministry to help you get in the game. Also, if you use this link to make a purchase from Amazon, you support me as I continue encouraging connection.
Thank you! You Rock!
Stand on the promises of God.
Ministry Leadership is not easy. I can tell you with great certainty that you will face trials and challenges. When this happens, look for the hand of God on your ministry. Look back over the history of this ministry. Has God been in it? If you can’t see His hands, then tell him you’re ready and ask for his guidance. Ask him how he would have you move forward in this ministry. If you can see his hand, then know that he has supported this ministry and he will continue to support it as long as you look to him and present yourself as a willing servant to his ministry. In the end, you will have the honor of a front row seat to witness His great works through this ministry. He will not leave you nor forsake you.
It’s Not Your Ministry
Before this was your ministry it was God’s and after you leave it, it will remain his. This is God’s ministry. He has ordained it, he has provided for it, he has protected it and he will continue to do so. God promised the land of Canaan to the Israelites. It didn’t matter what challenges they faced to acquire it. It was already promised to them. When things go right it’s for him and when things go wrong it’s for him. Pray and remain faithful. It’s his ministry after all.
Do not focus on what you can do but rather what He can do through you.
The Israelites were tiny people compared to the ones they went up against to acquire the Promised Land. You will face giants too. Your giants will probably be different from mine and some are the same old problems reinvented. Stay true to the mission of the ministry and the word of God as you make decisions for this group. Even if it’s not what everyone likes. It’s tempting to throw in the towel when you’re feeling overwhelmed but don’t. God has this. Be strong and courageous. You have been called to lead.
*** This is a book that I’m reading right now and it’s good encouragement for facing your giants. Remember, if you use this link to make a purchase from Amazon, you support me as I continue writing posts like this one.
Remember God Is With You
Do not be discouraged. Sometimes plans don’t work out. Have faith that there’s a purpose to it, look for the lesson and pray over it. God is with you and he’s trying to teach you, so look for the lesson.
God Will Bless Many Through You
Because you have been brave enough to accept the call to ministry leadership, you will be a blessing to those who would not have otherwise benefited. Many will come after you, whom you do not even know and may never know. They too will benefit from this ministry because of your time holding it together. Be strong and courageous.
God’s People are the Point
Remember your mission. The people you serve and those you serve alongside are more important than the little details. Don’t get so caught up in the to-dos that you miss the people that God has placed in your path.
The other stuff will either fall into place or not. If you allowed the people to gather together and gave them the opportunity to minister to each other, then it was a good day. Don’t ruin a relationship over a stained table cloth or running out of coffee. We show love more through hugs, smiles, and genuine conversation than all that other stuff.
Declare Your Need
You must declare your need. God uses people. He moves them to respond. But you have to be the voice. Asking for help is hard. It takes courage. Be strong and courageous enough to proclaim your need then pray and trust God will provide.
Soak in the word of God
If you know the mind and will of God then you will know your path. If you know His word, then He will bring it to the forefront of your mind when you need it most. Study scripture. I cannot stress this enough. Spend time with Him in His word. The Bible is a collection of letters to us from God, our father: so that we can know him. Read it, not because you’re supposed to in order to be a “good” Christian but because you want to know him. You can’t trust him if you don’t love him and you can’t love him until you know him.
God will use scripture to renew your soul when you are weary. Soak in it.
Joshua Had an Army and So Do You
Do not forget those who serve with you. Joshua didn’t go into battle alone. He had people who followed him because they believed in the mission. Make the mission your focus and how each person can help support the mission of your ministry.
Remember, it won’t always be easy but it will be good and he will be glorified.
Don’t be surprised when you look up and realize that the ministry that you’ve been serving has served to bless you. You won’t regret entering into ministry leadership.
Be Strong and Courageous,
“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”-Romans 8:37