Before anyone gets angry that I have left women out of this… As a man, I’m talking to other men about something I know from experience. Deep personal experience.
Often small group leaders, guys considering seminary or other men feeling called to lead as a deacon or elder in God’s church ask me for my input in their process. I’ve noticed over the past few years I’ve been providing some of the same advice over and over.
It’s advice I believe in because it’s advice I’ve followed and am still following today. It’s not advice that tells you “YES” or “NO”. It is not advice about what seminary to attend or what small group curriculum to use. It is also not about what conference you attend or what new book or new program you follow. It’s deep and personal advice. It may make you uncomfortable to consider. But in giving this advice I am absolutely correct and I would not really be helpful to anyone if I was afraid to give it.
Men, listen up, this is gut-check time.
1. Is you mate supportive?
If your wife says, you have no business leading anything for the Lord this needs to stop you dead in your tracks.
If you do not want your wife to be honest with you, then you probably don’t let Jesus be honest with you either.
Be honest with each other. Give her time to seek the Lord to confirm your calling to leadership in God’s church.
I’m not saying she has to come to everyone of your classes if you teach a class at church, but I am saying she needs to be able to be ok with what you are doing and understand what God is doing in your life.
If the person who knows you better than all others doesn’t get it, you are probably a fake trying to fake it to everyone. Or maybe she needs you to lead properly in your home before you can start helping others.
Whatever the case, don’t blame her. Love her cherish her and value her words, thoughts and feelings. If you can’t value her, you won’t be able to value the words and thoughts of those you desire to minister and care for.
2. Do you set time apart for your wife, your children and yourself – regularly?
Your first thought of growing in ministry life may be to help others, to reach out to them and invest in them. Or you may feel called to reading more, studying more and taking more classes. Whichever the case plan ahead to avoid the “trap” of time-loss.
If we are not careful our lives can get way out of balance. Spending time with the hurting and telling ourselves our families are ok is simply not ok.
Our wives need to be our best friends and share regular date nights with us. Our Kids should have the joy of sharing hobbies, dreams and hours with us each week. Last of all the personal check-in is needed. When we take some time to examine our own health and experience joy.
Study, caring for others and church growth need to come after these core requirements of our time. Believe me if you are close to your wife and kids and know where you are at on things you will be far more capable to assist others.
Do this and you get more done in other areas more easily and with less stress.
3. Do you spend time developing your relationship with Jesus?
Simply put your work for Him in school or service IS NOT the same as seeking Him just to spend time sitting at His feet and fellowshipping with Him.
Setting regular times where we draw near to Jesus not for people or ministry, but just to talk to Him is vital for our growth in Him.
Luke 10:38-42 tells the story of two sisters, one who sat with Jesus and one who worked for Him. There is a time for work and you will have no problem doing that. However, when and where in your life do you make time to “sit with Jesus”?
Failure to have a real relationship with Jesus will kill you in ministry. Knowing about Him and being close to Him are very different. You will need Him close if you want to make it in ministry.
You will need Him close if you want to grow in Him. That’s how it works.
Here’s the summary: If you want to grow in the Lord, do more for Him and be a leader…
YOU MUST HAVE A SOLID FOUNDATION!
If you try to reach out from a shoddy foundation to help others, your life will crumble.
Listen to me men of God, you will be tempted to take you wife your kids and your own health for granted. You will be tempted to believe working for Jesus is the same as knowing Him deeply and personally.
You will be tempted to look at other things and forget what should be vitally important to you. The basic things that God has given you to you…
This is important and I want you to really ask yourself these three questions:
What does my wife think of me? What do I think of her?
Does my family enjoy spending time with me? Do I with them?
What does Jesus think of me? What do I think of Him?
Without spending time on these central relationships and reflecting on the questions above honestly and regularly, how much good do you really believe you would do for God’s kingdom anyway?
Let’s get right and move forward for the Lord.
Cmon mighty men of God.