The best thing we can do as ministry leaders is to invest much time and effort into the spiritual disciplines that will keep us grounded in truth and Who we are serving. It will help us realize it’s not our ministry but God’s, and He just allows us to serve Him by His great grace since He really doesn’t need us. We must make sure that we always honor Him in the way we serve and that we give Him the glory.
So what spiritual disciplines are essential? I know these are no-brainers, but let’s go ahead and discuss them.
- Bible Study. If you are not spending time in God’s Word, how do you know you are leading in a way that honors Him? How do you know what you are doing is actually His will?
- Prayer. We must learn to listen and discern what He is telling us. We must pour out our hearts to Him about the burden and needs that have led us to this ministry calling. We must ask Him for direction continually.
- Worship. We are to do this individually through a time with Him daily, through worship music, and corporately at our churches and in other groups. Our worship of Christ keeps us humble and reverent of the One we serve.
- Fasting. Consider fasting when you have big decisions or are in a particular struggle. Ask for His great wisdom to hear and follow His will.
- Sabbath. If you do not rest from time to time, you will burn out before you finish the work. Saying “no” is not a bad thing when you are exhausted and need some time to recharge. God provided Sabbath for us, but if we serve in church sometimes that is not a very restful day. If that is true for you, find another day to restore so you can continue to live out God’s call in your life.
- Forgiveness. We are told in Scripture to forgive 70 times seven, or actually, innumerable times. We forgive others because He has forgiven us. You will have conflict in life and ministry endeavors. Decide now that you will forgive offenders, even if they do not ask!
- Pursue holiness. God is not calling us to perfection but to holiness. 1 Peter 1:15-16 says: “But as the One who called you is holy, you also are to be holy in all your conduct; for it is written, Be holy, because I am holy.”
These are not all the disciplines, but they are some of the most important. Seek to grow in these as you begin and continue in service to the Lord.
The next post in this series will address the “spring” of new ministry development.
For more on this topic, feel free to get a copy of Dr. Jeff Iorg’s book that has inspired this series, Seasons of a Leader’s Life.