If you are a pastor, read this, print it off and give it to your lay leadership team or accountability group. Aint got any of that? There is the start of your problem. You are using your congregation as an accountability group of the whole. There is no way you can hear all those voices reguarly and not end up as a spinning top.
If you are church member, read this, print it off and give it to your pastor.
If you are considering the pastorate for your life's work, read it, print it off and take it to your closet.
Pastors, guys and girls, give heed unto what I write. I have pretty well removed myself from the mainstream of polite society, with all the rights and privileges thereto appertaining. It is not so bad out here in the nether regions, albeit lonely, and I would like to ask you to join me.
Please follow along.
To be a minister/pastor/preacher/pastoral evangelist/et al is not a second career after you have lived in the world long enough to make a good living and have some retirement. If you have a call, give God what is right instead of what is left over after you aggrandize your earthly needs.
On the other hand, if you are not called to ministry, don't hide out over here because you fear you could not get a job doing anything else. The ministry may not be a place for good Christians but it is certainly not a place for the lazy, the corrupt, the incompetent or the fearful. Simply put, if you can do anything else and feel satisfied, get over there and do it. We are choking to death with volunteers. The ministry is the place for those who have a sacred vocation; that is, a direct, divine calling which compels them to serve, overcomes their fears and impels them to practice their art until they perfect it.
Get yourself on a good, rhythmic schedule of prayer, study, inreach and outreach. You can schedule yourself 40 hours each week and get 60 hours out of it if you double use the time. Last night after other duties I went to the high school basketball games (go figure). There I met four church members and had a chat with them. They introduced me to some folks who are thinking about attending worship with us. Double use of the time. Triple use of the time if you count it as relaxation and pleasure, it being good basketball.
Brock plays good basketball, boys and girls. Our teams are a pleasure to watch.
You will need to double and triple use your time.
You can make prayer into study time if you keep your journal with you. Your journal is the place for those bursts of inspiration bordering on genius. You know, the ones you lose because you do not keep your journal.
Here is one of my little burst for this week. It came to me in prayer, got down in my journal and will probably be heard in sermon form sometime soon.
God can require righteousness from man quite because God is totally righteous. The pot cannot say to the potter, don't make me this way, or do this with me, because only the potter knows what the clay can do. Ergo, the potter can mold the clay as he wishes and expect the clay to respond.
You have not quit praying just because you quit talking and start to write. You may be taking holy dictation.
See, as the ancients told us, that ministry is the overflow of your devotional life. If you have an inner life, you may not need a double life.