Thursday, October 02, 2008

The Cost Of Ministry

On Sunday last I was able to see a good old friend who have not been able to spend any time with for over a year.. though he lives only 30 minutes away from me. The Lord has blessed him with a beautiful new home for his family to live in. He's served the Lord for many years now and it's wonderful to see him enjoy the blessings he's been given.

Two years ago he and I were fellowshipping in the same church. I played with the band he led as music director of the Church off and on. We got to know each other fairly well, and I've come to trust the man and to be sure of his godly Christian love. When I was at his church I saw that he was exhausted. He was working his normal job and then also volunteering at the church all the time. Eventually he got hired on for 20 hours of work a week but was working 30-40 hours. I have to admit I thought he was being taken advantage of.

Well, this Sunday past I was standing on his deck. I'm a different man now. We were talking about how busy people can get and stuff. He's full time at the church now and so he doesn't have to hold down a job and his ministry at the same time. I was telling him that I had no idea how busy a person could be. I had a good laugh about how if I had known what I was asking for that I never would have asked God to put me in ministry. He giggled a bit, but he knew where the conversation was going.

I told him how I'm still at my full time employment and then talked about the hours that I work with The Cross Current (TCC). And then I told him about how I had been up until 2am writing an email to a woman who really needed to be ministered to. And I said "You know what? I was completely in my glory. As much as I needed sleep there was nothing on the planet I would have rather have been doing at 2am than ministering to that person." Looking up through my exhausted eyes, I could see my friend with just the hint of a knowing smile on his face. I never understood why he did what he did... but since he's been through it he knows why I'm doing it now.

That's half of what I wanted to blog about today. The other half is this. If you're in ministry and you're on the move the enemy IS going to attack you. Lately he's been bringing his "A-Game" against the members of TCC.

Ministry costs. And I don't just mean money. So, give wherever, whenever, and how much ever the Lord impresses you to give. Just do it. Ministries need it, and if you're being lead by the Spirit to give then just do it. If you're not being lead then focus on what He is leading you in. But the one thing you can choose to do without prompting is to pray. Pray for ministries, and the people in the ministries and their families. There is no greater thing you can do for any ministry than to honestly and earnestly pray for them. It costs to be in ministry and anyone who's ministering covets the covering of prayer from God's people.

I'll tell you straight up though. We're going to keep going even if you don't. But think of how easy it is for you to gain reward, to help, and be effective through the ministries you see are doing God's work. Just praying in faith for us is exercising your faith and gaining fruit. Giving when prompted is a great way to exercise both your faith AND to produce something at the same time.

I'm not trying to get people to give to TCC. Those obedient Christians whom the Spirit prompts will give. I'm asking you to get on God's side with the ministries you've been called to support or even be part of.

And if you are considering ministry. Yes it is THAT hard. Yes it is THAT rewarding. Yes it is absolutely amazing to watch God do the impossible for you week in and week out.

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