I experienced an interesting insight yesterday afternoon, while we visited the local play-land so the kiddos could get out some energy and play games. We had a good time, given that we were there for a few hours and the kids cashed in their game tickets from some cool toys (like we needed more things to put away when bedtime rolls around)
Of course, what play-place experience isn't complete without a game taking your tokens, but not printing out the correct number of winning tickets?
Ministry is not about seeking the approval of man, for those who do so receive their reward... having exchanged the eternal for the temporal.
It's easy to get caught up, even as I consider the simple things for this site. I watch twitter followers come and go or the visit count of the number of readers flucuate on any given day. Some days I smile, other days, I wonder what happened.
Even for pastors though, a similar temptation exists. Why is service attendance so strong on Sunday morning, but 80-90% gone on a Sunday night... or 60-70% gone on a Wednesday night? Why do some events bring out more support and volunteers than others? Why are some sermons more well received? Worship portions of the service more powerful one week than the last (or next). Community outreaches that generate more impact or notice than others... and if you are in ministry or a pastor reading this, you could add even more to the list.
Whether we consciously consider such situations for longer than a second or two or not, we are human.
In the efforts to do more, to be greater, to make be more effective and efficient in our impact, to be more involved, more understood... at the beginning of all it, is the process of analysis. Which if we aren't careful quickly leads to something I've more familiar with than I care to admit... over-thinking.
One more reason why it's probably a good thing I'm not in ministry, but I understand the importance of praying for those who are.
On that note... pleasse join me in prayer, this #associatePastorTuesday for pastors struggling with the temptation to overthink and over-analyize their ministry efforts and the results they produce. Pray they find and retain a balance in utilizing best practices, where possible... for improvements are necessary in the church, but not get caught up in the last trends, opportunities or strategies in their area of ministry, as a means of "competing" with other churches. Pray they would continue to seek the face of God first, for what He would have in store for the decisions they face and the direction they are too take. May their first answer for whatever "success" they achive in ministry on this earth, be directly attributed to the sovereign Hand of God and His favor and blessing on their lives and the anointing that rest upon the as they faithfully fulfilled the calling placed upon them.
For the tokens of earth will pass away
The rewards of heaven last for eternity.
May the desire of the temporal subside
And the pursuit of God arise within us.
For all these things follow those;
Who seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness first.
For the glory of God.
Just a man, attempting to fulfill God's plan. Husband, Dad, Dreamer. Blogger.