Recently through conversations and messages, concerts and reflection, I have been reminded of six random thoughts for ministry leaders.
Love Your People
Don’t miss out on the joy of loving the people with whom you are in ministry. Jesus tells us that the world will know that we are His disciples by our love. Model Christ’s love to them by connecting with them, serving them and being there for them. If you are leading a ministry team at your church (youth ministry team, worship team, etc.) get to know them as people. Maybe have a meeting in one of their homes instead of at the church building. Visit one of your team members for lunch at or near their place of work. Genuinely befriend them. If someone stops by to see you or calls you – even when you are busy – remember what our true ministry is. We are not in the “efficient office business.” We are in the people business. Love the people (Matthew 22:37-39; John 13:35).
Little Things Today, Make A Difference Tomorrow
Do the things today that will help make a difference for the years to come. The relationships that you tend to, the times you enjoy with people, and the way you take care of your life (spiritually, physically, and emotionally) will all have an impact. For example, eating a candy bar in the middle of the morning may not seem too bad, but what about the disciplines of eating only when you are hungry and not just for fun? Or leaving an unfinished to do list at 5:00 in exchange for being at home for the evening… more than likely, showing those closest to you (spouse, family, friends) will make more of an impact than crossing off one more administrative item (Hebrews 11:1).
Get Excited About Others’ Accomplishments
Walk in other people’s shoes. When someone has something good to share, cherish it with them. Enjoy hearing about the trip, their experiences or their ideas. Find ways to let other folks shine – ask more questions and be an exceptional listener. Don’t think that you need to tell your story every time (Romans 12:3).
Make Your Words Count
Surprise a person who is involved heavily in your ministry or life with a hand written note instead of an email. When you are writing a note, write it neatly. Let people know that you have time for them. Also, understand that words can give life and words can kill (Matthew 12:37). Encourage someone today. Christians should bless people (I Cor. 4:12) and no matter what the situation, answer kindly.
Digest Scripture Today
If you have been running dry, out of creative juices, overwhelmed by the tough things in the world and in ministry, don’t forget God’s deep well. There is always refreshment, wisdom and power in his Word. The other morning, as I was realizing how unraveled my spiritual discipline schedule had become, I remembered what Paul told Timothy – “for God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline” (2 timothy 1:7). Through his Word, I was renewed again, to count on God’s power to bring about self discipline in my life. I love your Word, God. Forgive me when I put it low on my priority list.
Growth in personal development through reading, studying, learning and prayer is important. Balancing that with a healthy desire to grow your organization is also important. People are drawn to things that are moving forward! Help your people enjoy the success of their teamwork and ministry together. Do something to help spark growth in your team – encouragement, structure, vision or another burst of energy. This might sound basic, but again, it’s just a reminder.