Ministry, Your First Love

by: David A. Miller  |  September 28th, 2016  |  Faith> Students  | 

One of the greatest things about working with new pastors is seeing their level of excitement in that first year of ministry. We too have experienced it––that feeling of being fully alive and destined to set the world on fire. It’s the attitude of “I can do anything I put my mind to!” We step into that awesome realm of newly-called and freshly-minted leadership, wide-eyed, naïve, eager, and passionate to change the world for Christ.

During that introduction to ministry, it’s hard not to feel invincible, like a spiritual super hero ready to defeat sin and save the lost. In our bubble of innocence, we float into ministry––unseasoned, ignorant, and ill-prepared for what lies ahead. Over those first few months our rose-tinted glasses stay firmly in place, creating a distorted vision of what it means to serve. It’s a cyclical existence, acting out the way we think people in ministry get to live.

We think that being in ministry means we will live a life filled with prayers and healing and blessings. So we follow that formula of leadership, jumping in with zeal and an unadulterated passion to transform lives. We think, “I’ve got this calling and God is with me. There is nothing that is going to stop me.”

We hold true to Matthew 16:18, that the gates of hell cannot prevail against his church. It becomes our mantra. The fact that we get to be part of something so big makes us want to break down some walls and kick some devil butt! And so we’re pumped, exuding an air that is infectious throughout the church staff. The positives of that newness, to feel wholly alive in our ministry creates an idealism and energy that follows us everywhere we go.

Right out of the gate, we fall in love with ministry. That love deepens as we see lives being changed. That’s what sets ministry apart––the transforming of lives and that we get to be part of the process. We get wrapped up in seeing ministry happen because ministry does work. When people’s lives are changed, we get excited and want more. That’s why we committed to ministry in the first place.

It’s why we answered the call. It’s not about a job. It’s not about paying bills. It’s about being part of something bigger––part of building and shaping and pushing forward the kingdom. But it’s naïve to think that ministry is simply going to be a future of baptisms under rainbows.

We hope that our NextGen Ministry Survival Guide will over practical tips and help you to remember why you started in ministry the first place.

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David A. Miller

Over the past thirteen years, David A. Miller has had the privilege of serving as a pastor, mentor, speaker and teacher. His diverse experiences on both the east and west coasts—in thriving, multi-site churches as well as parachurch ministries—collectively contribute… Read More