Six Month Reflection

I haven’t said this in a while in either this forum or other outlets of social networking, but I love my job.  My job as a minister is something that I have been searching for, for a very long time, and I feel like I am at home where I am at.  My job is not without challenges and nor am I perfect in applying where I feel that God is calling me to the lead those who would follow.  

Ministry carries its own sets of challenges and triumphs to be sure.  What I am finding is the most challenging is following someone who was beloved mainly because I will always be compared to them.  I find myself resting in several of promises.  First of all, God called the previous leader to a different place for a reason.  I don’t know that the reason is, but I know that God is in control and that He is moving pieces around the board that will ultimately end in His kingdom being advanced.  

Second of all, God called me to this place for the same reason…to ultimately see His kingdom advanced and to see his will be done.  Once again, the reasons are that God is in control, and this His ultimate goal is for the kingdom to be advanced.  

Third, what I am finding is that there are many different ways to do ministry.  I am finding that I have to be the minister that God has called me and gifted me to be, not a replica of the previous guy.  I am finding that I have to play to my strengths as a laborer for Christ.  I am finding that I have to be sensitive to where God is calling me to lead, not where He called the previous guy.  That is tough, especially if the previous guy was beloved, because the natural instinct is that the previous administration had a monopoly on how things should be done.  My hope is that God uses me and what I bring to the table in a way that compliments what has already been done in the past and takes it further, not replace it.  My prayer is that the group that I lead has an appreciation and respect for the past, but an eye towards the future as God continues to move.  I find that learning from the past is much better than living there.  

Fourth, I find that as I lead, I am being lead.  I am being lead by those who sacrifice their time, talents, resources, and even frustrations with me.  Most importantly I am being lead by the only person worth following, and that is Jesus.  I find that I am nowhere near perfect in my application of leadership, and a person just as much in need of grace as anyone else.  I am finding that as I lead am being lead, that you cannot be overstocked in grace and understanding.  I am grateful for the leaders who understand this, and are there to pick me up when I fall, provide an ear and a hug in my times of frustration, and celebration when we have victories. 

Finally, I recognize the presence of metaphysics and what they mean by that is that there is a spiritual aspect to ministry that I think we are too quick to dismiss.  Here is the truth.  There is an enemy. His goal is to steal, kill, and destroy.  And when ministries begin to move the ball forward in terms of seeing people’s lives changed with the power of the Holy Spirit, it is usually met with some sort of resistance.  I am guilty of dismissing this aspect of ministry just as much as anyone, but will begin to pay more credence to this aspect.  It is clear in my experience in all of my ministries that I have been directly or indirectly involved in is that success is usually met with resistance, and we are in a battle against metaphysical elements.  

Overall, I am glad that God has called me to this position and this church.  My frustrations are infinitesimal compared to the ultimate glory that lies in the work that has been accomplished by Jesus.  As long as I continue to be lead by Him, offer forgiveness and road to resolution for those who need it, and be continuously amazed at His provision in my shortcomings, I think things will ultimately work out in a way where God is glorified. 

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About larsenphillip

I'm an imperfect disciple of Jesus Christ. I am learning that my walk with Jesus gets deeper when I drop the presumptions that I have and simply follow him. I get frustrated when people put God in a box, and presume to know how He will reach individuals, work in peoples lives, and advance His kingdom. If Tony Campolo or Jim Wallis were to call me and ask me to work for them for free...I probably would. I think one day I'll write a book, and I am a nut for STL Cardinal baseball.
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