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Kevin Queen – Intimacy Over Impact

December 27, 2023

Prioritizing Intimacy Over Impact

Ministry burnout: We’ve all been there, or at least at the brink of it, when the pace and demands of ministry work feel like too much. But here’s the thing: Church leaders aren’t getting burned out because they’re spending too much time in prayer or in God’s Word. They’re getting burned out when they fall into the trap of getting so busy working for God that they neglect the essential time to spend with God.

So how do we avoid that trap? 

Thankfully, Christ modeled for us the balance of doing work for God and having a relationship with God in His time on earth, said Kevin Queen, lead pastor of Cross Point Church in Nashville, TN. The pattern in Jesus’s life is solitude, community, and ministry.

“He goes up on the mountain, spends the night in prayer, comes down, calls the disciples, goes, heals, teaches, and does the work of the ministry,” Kevin said. “Over and over and over, you see this pattern repeated. And I think if Jesus needed that … the Messiah, the Son of God, the Savior of the world … if He in His humanity and divinity needed that intimacy, we have to prioritize intimacy over impact.”

Three Steps to Prioritizing Intimacy Over Impact

  1. Solitude – Spend time each day with just you and God.

Our hearts can be like tangled necklaces. For them to be useful and accomplish their purpose, they have to be untangled. So we need to spend time alone with the Father and ask Him to help us untangle our hearts – whether that be our fears, failures, struggles, selfishness, people pleasing – or maybe we don’t even know the ways we are tangled and just need to sit in silence and ask God to reveal it to us.

“I think many of us get burnt out because we’re doing ministry tangled up,” Kevin said. “We don’t have the solitude, we don’t have the community. It’s just ministry, ministry, ministry with a tangled heart. And we can hide it from other people for a little while, but it doesn’t take long before people can tell. And what they need most from us is that we would spend time with the Father and let him untangle our heart.”

  1. Community – Spend intentional time communicating openly and honestly with other believers.

We need to have a space where we can talk with our brothers and sisters in Christ in an authentic way. We need to be in a community that encourages one another in ministry but also shares struggles, prays for each other, and commits to doing life together.

“What we need in ministry is covenantal friendships and covenantal relationships,” Kevin said. “Not just connections, not just conversations, not just collaboration, but covenantal friendships and relationships, where we can mourn with others when they mourn and rejoice with others when they rejoice.”

  1. Ministry – Go do the work God has called you to do for Him alone.

Many times we think we need to do all these amazing things for God, sometimes just so we can be seen as great leaders or great people of God. But God never calls us to that. He calls us to be faithful, and to love and serve Him. He wants our focus to be on Him, not the things we can do for Him.

“I want to do great things for God – that was my mantra,” Kevin said. “Then I got a book that was from Dr. Siang-Yang Tan called Full Service, and in it he said, ‘Many young men have said they want to do great things for God, which really means they want to just be famous and well known and bring God along for the ride.’ He said, ‘A better aim of one’s life than to do great things for God is to do things for a great God.’ And it was like the Spirit said, ‘Kevin, why don’t you just do things and let Me be the great one?’ And so from that point on, it was like, I just want to do things. I want my character to go much deeper than my influence goes wide. I just want to do things for God instead of trying to be the great one.” 

In John 15:7-8, Jesus tells us, “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.” He connects our impact with our intimacy, and in the combination, we will bear fruit that lasts. 

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