things I’ve learned about ministry, part 3.

Here are a few more things I’ve learned about ministry over the last eight months.

You can’t do it alone. There is absolutely no way I would have made it through the last few months with a support network. My family and friends have helped out with practical stuff, like transporting A & K and providing meals when I was laid up after knee surgery. But more importantly, they’ve been a sounding board, given me a reality check, let me cry on their shoulder, and prayed with me. I really think I would have lost my mind and probably thrown in the towel without their help.

It can’t be about the person you’re trying to help – it has to be about Jesus. This is really the bottom line for me, and I think it applies no matter what you’re doing. Because people will misunderstand your heart and your motives. They’ll fail to say thank-you and they will take you for granted. They’ll take a step back with every step forward. They’ll push your boundaries and break your heart and wear you out.

But Jesus. He sees your heart and honors your faithfulness, even when things don’t work out like you want them to. He gives rest and carries your burdens. He promises that His Word does not return empty but accomplishes the work He gave it to do (Isaiah 55:11). And the work He has started in you, the work He is even now doing in you as you serve others, He will complete it (Philippians 1:6).

“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Enter, you who are blessed by my Father! Take what’s coming to you in this kingdom. It’s been ready for you since the world’s foundation. And here’s why:

I was hungry and you fed me,
I was thirsty and you gave me a drink,
I was homeless and you gave me a room,
I was shivering and you gave me clothes,
I was sick and you stopped to visit,
I was in prison and you came to me.’

“Then those ‘sheep’ are going to say, ‘Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry and feed you, thirsty and give you a drink? And when did we ever see you sick or in prison and come to you?’ Then the King will say, ‘I’m telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me—you did it to me.’”

Matthew 25:34-40

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