Answering the call to ministry is not taking a job or finding a career. So many times individuals will go from one ministry to another trying to find the perfect fit for them.
I know there are some ministry organizations that appoint pastors or move them around, I am talking about those that choose themselves where they are going and decide when it's time to leave.
I do believe the Holy Spirit will guide an individual and call them to a ministry. However, I don't believe we can decide for ourselves when we want to leave. As I have followed the trends in ministry and society for the past 20 years, I have seen such a worldly influence in the church. We see pastors—those in ministry and churches striving to rub shoulders with the world—pursuing material wealth and fall into the "IN" image and not the godly image.
When you have all of this flowing, you can't hear the voice of the Holy Spirit anymore. We wake up in the morning to check our social media to see who is following us or liked our post. Then, we check our feed to see what everyone else is doing. I do think social media is a great avenue to connect with people and to use it as a ministry tool. However, I think it can be filled with materialism, greed, envy and pride, and it fuels our insecurities.
I have seen how individuals or ministries are trying to build God's kingdom, trying to be obedient and make a difference, lose sight of what God has called them to do by trying to be someone else or by patterning their ministry after others. God calls every person or ministry to do something unique and to reach a certain group of people. God doesn't make duplicates and He isn't moved with the trends. In the body of Christ, we have lost focus on what the Holy Spirit is leading us to do.
Here are five ways to stay on course as a minister/pastor and as a church:
- Stick with the first word God gave you when He called you. You cannot lose sight of who the Holy Spirit told you to reach and how He told you to reach out.
- Do not be moved by what you don't have. Ministry after ministry has shut down or changed vision because it struggles in many ways, including financially.
- God will test those He has called. When you step out in faith to fulfill the call of God in your life or in your ministry, there will be a time of testing. The question isn't "Will God provide?" the question is, "Will you remain faithful, no matter what?"
- God is faithful. Whatever God calls you or your church to do, He is faithful to provide the people, resources and finances. It may not always be there immediately, but that's when you have to trust God. He will pull you through if you can stand the pull.
- Don't quit. Quitting cannot be an option when you answer the call to ministry or you start a work God has called you to. There are people waiting on the other side of your obedience. You will not make it if you do it in your own strength. You have to be solely dependent on God and remain faithful even when it doesn't look like you are going to make it.
Don't try to copy someone else's ministry or minister like someone else. Be who God created you to be. Set up your ministry the way God wanted it to be. Stick with the vision God gave you and don't give up—see it through.
We started our ministry almost 20 years ago and, in those 20 years, we lost everything—people, finances, our house, our cars and even opportunities to grow our family. But we didn't quit, and through our perseverance, God has done miracles in our personal lives and in our ministry.
Our ministry today stands strong, it stands out because we didn't duplicate another ministry. The fruit of the ministry is only fruit because God came through and we didn't rely on ourselves. You can read more of our story at thenewchurchofjoy.com to encourage you.
To remain faithful to what God first called you to do takes extreme humility, patience and faith. Use social media as a tool to minister, not as a gauge of your success. You are successful if you did what God called you to do and reached who He called you to reach.
You may have to stop and ask the Holy Spirit if you are on course with what He called you to do. If you have veered off course, ask Him to supernaturally redirect you. Every one of our goals is to finish the course and stand before God knowing we did everything He called us to do.
"I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, and I have kept the faith. From now on a crown of righteousness is laid up for me, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved His appearing" (2 Tim. 4:7-8, MEV).
Along with her husband, Pastor Luis Reyes, Tricia Reyes is the co-founder of The New Church Of Joy in Waukegan, Illinois. She is a blogger and author and helps manage her daughter Madison's (Maddie Rey) Music Ministry. She is a devoted wife as well as mother to Madison and Matthew and loves the Lord with all her heart! To learn more about Tricia's ministry or to book her for a Women's Event/Conference visit her website at triciareyes.com or thenewchurchofjoy.com.
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