When it comes to Christian leadership, have you gone past the point of no return? Have you gotten to the point where the call of God on your life is all that matters? Paul talks about this in regards to himself.
I believe that the key point in our ministries should be faithfulness to God. We must be faith-ful. That means that someone can put his or her faith in us.
We always talk about having faith in the Lord. Rightly so – there’s no other person in the universe more worthy than He is to receive our faith. The problem is that we’re called to be just like Him. We’re to be people who are faithful in the same way that He’s faithful.
I’ve found that faithfulness in the ministry is a rare commodity these days. Please realize I’m not talking about faithful works, but faithfulness to the call that’s been placed before us.
It seems that many Christian leaders have bought into the myth that’s being fostered in corporate America. They’re constantly updating their resume. That way they’re able to jump ship at the first sign of trouble or whenever a “better opportunity” arises.
We, as leaders, have to come back to the realization that success in ministry is not climbing a ladder; it’s following the clear call and leading of Christ.
For it seems to me that God has put us apostles on display at the end of the procession, like men condemned to die in the arena. We have been made a spectacle to the whole universe, to angels as well as to men.
I Corinthians 4:9
More and more, I’m beginning to understand what Paul was writing about here. He’s not griping about the problems he’s facing in the ministry. On the contrary, he’s becoming aware of a fact that every minister must face. He says that he feels like a man doomed to die in the arena.
He’s just like a professional fighter who knows that he’ll always fight until the day his life will end. If you’re going to be an effective leader, you’ll have to come to grips with the fact that you’ve made it past the point of no return. You need to know within yourself that there’s no going back. This calling is for good – there’s no safety net – you’re going to “die in the arena” of ministry.
There are so many leaders today who have no concept of this. I’ve heard statements like, “Well, if this falls through I can always sell life insurance.” This kind of thinking has no place in the heart of a true minister.
At one point, I was going through a particularly stressful time in my ministry. I was also teaching an hour a week in a school of ministry at a nearby church. This church, which was much larger than the one I was pastoring, made me an offer to come on staff with them. The pay and benefits would have been a lot better than where I was.
I related this to a young pastor friend of mine. He assumed that surely I would send them my resume just to test the waters. My reply to him was that since God hadn’t changed my calling to my present church, there was no water to test.
He then looked at me with an expression that I will never forget as he asked, “What do you mean by calling?”
This is just the surface symptom of a deep problem facing churches in America today – leaders who have absolutely no concept of calling. Unless you have a clear understanding of the call of God upon your life, you’ll fall victim to the greatest cause of defeat in ministry today.
I firmly believe that you’re not only called to a position, but also to a location in the body of Christ. Unless and until God changes your assignment, you would be a fool to move somewhere else.
Question: What’s the calling of God upon your life right now?
© 2019 Nick Zaccardi