I want to deal with an issue that has severely stunted the growth of the body of Christ. If your goal is to stand firm in your calling, then you’ll find yourself in a leadership position in the church. This is important, because the excellence level of the church will only rise as high as the example of their leadership.
But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.
II Corinthians 15:57-58
There is a dangerous trend in the body of Christ right now toward unfaithfulness in its ministers. The average pastorate is only about two and a half years. Unfortunately, this trickles down to the members.
It seems that church people don’t commit to the Lord’s work anymore. When something happens that they disagree with, they move on to another church. I believe that if someone is truly called, then there should not be this running from church to church.
We know that we have the victory in Christ. The above verse explains that because we have this knowledge we have the ability to stand firm (literally – sit firm). We are to be not moveable. We are to be always super-abounding in God’s effort.
How can we accomplish this? The verse is clear on that point – because we see that our toil – that which requires our strength – was not empty. If I’m going to pour my strength and life into something, then I need to see that it matters in eternity.
Too many leaders in the body of Christ give up because the work starts to get hard. They move on because the people “don’t share their vision.” Or maybe there’s a “personality conflict.” You’ll hear things like, “I have to find a place where God can fulfill His call upon me.”
We’ve bought into the lie that’s a part of corporate America today. Instead of loyalty, there’s trend toward self-promotion. If I can’t get a better pay or benefit package here, I’ll get it somewhere else.
That’s all foolishness. Those statements show a profound inability to grasp what the call of God is all about. That’s why it is of paramount importance that you find exactly where and to whom God is calling you.
A spirit of excellence will take nothing less than the fulfillment of the plan of God for His people. But I’ve found that even many ministers miss the point of their calling.
It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
We’ve heard this Scripture a thousand times, but do we really understand its implications? This verse, in context, is talking about the gifts that God has given to men. Many ministers get the wrong impression. These are gifts to the church. The church people are not a gift to us.
The reason why many leaders miss it is because they have the wrong perspective. They think that God has called them to a work, and now they have to find people to help them fulfill it.
As church leaders, we need to realize that the work of the ministry is not about us. We are called to a people. We are then given a vision for the work that we’re to lead them into. A leader is to receive God’s vision for the body of believers, then work to bring them into it.
Question: What’s your vision for the work God has called you to do?
© Nick Zaccardi 2015