I have often received the question, “What does it take to be in full-time ministry?” This question comes my way about once a month, or sometimes more frequently if I am traveling  and ministering in churches or Bible schools. 

Please allow me to me share what I used to think. 

In 1999, I was nearing the completion of my two-year Bible program at Christ For the Nations Institute in Dallas, TX. I recall talking to Anna, who was my fiancée at the time, about our future. We sat in my car in front of her apartment, and the conversation centered around being called to the nations for ministry. During the conversation I stated, “I don’t know exactly how, but I know God will make a way for us to minister in the nations.” This statement was one of faith, but also one of ignorance. Little did I know that there was a high price to be paid for a life of ministry. Today, I am grateful for that ignorance! Had I known the price ministry required, I likely would have chosen a different path for my life. 

Fast forward 23 years… I am grateful to say that we have been faithful to the call of God and have not deviated one bit! 

What was the price? 

I cannot tell you simply one thing that would equate to “a price” for giving our lives for ministry. That list would go on for pages… For the sake of brevity, I will only share a few things: 

Of course, I could go on much longer, but that would seem like a rant, which is definitely not the intent or purpose of this blog! 

What else does “the price” require? What does it take to persevere in ministry?? 

The price of ministry is high. The ultimate price is laying down your own pride and selfish ambition. It is absolute and complete submission to God – no matter the situation or the cost. Ultimately, this means that you must lay down your life for the Lord. For many believers and ministers, they pay this price with their mortal life. I have friends who have literally given their lives for Jesus and now live with Him in eternity. 

For those who are truly interested in serving the Lord in full-time ministry, my encouragement would be to first count the cost prayerfully before doing anything else. Second, you must be confident that God has indeed asked you to give your life to Him in ministry. Without a call of God, your pursuit of ministry will be filled with additional challenges and heartache. Third, prepare yourself. Many men and women are trying to hack their way through ministry without any preparation, education, training, mentoring, etc. This is recipe for failure. Don’t use the excuse that Jesus chose a few unruly fishermen to turn the world upside down as your reason for trying to cut corners. These men walked with God! I don’t care how much time you think you have spent with God, you have not walked with Him like they did. Therefore, find the training and mentoring necessary to become equipped. Lastly, allow God to refine your character and integrity to a place that is unshakeable. You are not going to be perfect. But if you have weak character and a lack of integrity, the devil will eat your lunch and you will become another headline failure and mockery. 

I would offer one last thought to those who want to know about the price that must be paid. Are you willing to have your pride obliterated and your life humbled to new lows? If you are not willing or ready, then “buckle up, buttercup!” Your world is about to get hammered! I can make a strong and compelling case that all sin finds its roots in pride. 

Galatians 5:24-26 says, “And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.” 

To follow Christ is to crucify the flesh and all our fleshly desires. The price is high and cannot be understated. If you are willing to pay the price, the Lord is looking for more laborers in His harvest. 

Finally, in Luke 10:2 Jesus said, “The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.” 

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Strategies for Pastors and Leaders

Dr. Dinesh S. Michel

Loneliness is a common human experience that transcends age, occupation, and social status. Even in the context of church ministry, where pastors and leaders are surrounded by a congregation, it’s possible to feel isolated and alone. This article explores the unique challenges of loneliness within church ministry and offers strategies that I myself am using to combat it.

The Loneliness Paradox

At first glance, it might seem paradoxical that individuals in church ministry, who are often surrounded by a community of believers, can experience loneliness. However, ministry can be isolating for several reasons:

Role Expectations:

​ Pastors and leaders are often seen as spiritual guides, and there’s an expectation that they should have it all together. This can make it challenging for them to admit their struggles, including loneliness.

Lack of Peer Relationships:

​ While pastors and leaders have strong connections with their congregations, they may lack close peer relationships within their own ministry circles. They often shoulder the burdens of others but may not have someone to share their own burdens with.

High Stress Levels:

​ The demands of church ministry, including sermon preparation, pastoral care, and administrative tasks, can lead to high stress levels. This stress can exacerbate feelings of loneliness and isolation.

Strategies to Combat Loneliness

  1. Seek Accountability:

    Pastors and leaders should actively seek out mentors or peers with whom they can build accountability relationships. These relationships provide a safe space to share struggles and receive support.

  2. Prioritize Self-Care:

    Ministry can be all-consuming, leaving little time for personal well-being. It’s crucial to prioritize self-care, including regular exercise, rest, and time for hobbies that bring joy and relaxation.

  3. Establish Boundaries:

    Set clear boundaries for work hours and responsibilities. Overextending oneself can lead to burnout and increased feelings of loneliness.

  4. Foster Peer Connections:

    Create opportunities for pastors and leaders within your church community to connect and build peer relationships. This can be done through small groups, retreats, or regular meetings specifically for leaders.

  5. Spiritual Discipline:

    Deepen your spiritual discipline. Regular prayer, meditation of the word, and reflection can provide a sense of connection with God, helping to alleviate loneliness.

  6. Professional Counseling:

    Don’t hesitate to seek professional counseling if loneliness becomes overwhelming. Therapists can provide guidance and support to address these feelings.

Loneliness in church ministry is a real and challenging issue. However, with awareness and proactive steps, pastors and leaders can combat these feelings and create a more supportive and connected ministry environment. Remember that it’s okay to seek help and that you don’t have to battle loneliness alone. By prioritizing self-care, seeking peer relationships, and deepening your spiritual discipline, you can find greater fulfillment and connectedness in your ministry journey.

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Rev. Ron Wood

More Than Equals – Women on Paul’s Team

Let’s examine an important issue in many parts of the Body of Christ. Biblically, “What is the role of women in the church?” As a prophetic reformer, I have an assignment. I’m trying to write my vision and make it plain so leaders can run with it! I’m for church growth, evangelism, and the Great Commission!

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Recently, one morning, I asked the Lord, “What do you want to show me today?” I heard words quoted to me that Jesus had spoken to Mary Magdalene outside the tomb. “Stop clinging to Me for I have not yet ascended to My Father.”

Strange! What could that possibly mean?

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