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Excellence In Pastoring

Travels for a kid’s crusade found me on a flight headed toward the upper Midwest. While perusing the onboard magazine selections I came across an intriguing poem.

Excellence is the result of
Caring more than others think is wise,
Risking more than others think is safe,
Dreaming more than others think is practical,
And expecting more than others think is possible.

Almost instantly I was challenged to compare these thoughts with the ministry. Without going into depth, let’s consider these four points. First, if we strive for excellence in ministry, then we must genuinely care for those we are ministering to. Do you have a deep compassion for the flock God has entrusted to you?

Second, when was the last time you knew God was directing you to a task, but you didn’t want to risk making a mistake, criticism, or conflict. When God speaks and directs, there really is no risk involved except what we allow to be perceived in our own thoughts. God has already thought it through. He has seen the situation from all perspectives and knows what He is leading you to do. Has excellence been replaced with the adage, ‘better safe than sorry?’

Third, think about what scripture says on dreaming dreams and seeing visions. God is a big God with a big kingdom that involves big dreams. A dream doesn’t revolve around events we can plan for, programs we can develop on our own, or goals we can accomplish with a little extra elbow grease. A dream is visionary. It’s beyond what we see presently happening. It challenges us to grow and walk in faith.

Walking in faith brings us to the fourth point. What are your expectations? Many people generally think of numerical, financial, and spiritual growth. But there is so much more; families being reunited, schools being influenced for Christ, nations being changed. That’s just the tip of the iceberg. Your ministry is part of God’s kingdom. God’s kingdom encompasses more than your city, town, state, or nation. So, in reality, your ministry is much larger and farther reaching than what you may realize.

Excellence in ministry comes from a heart filled with God’s love that is willing to boldly walk forward in God-given visions and dreams, expecting great things — even the impossible — to take place.

May God richly bless you and your ministry.

garypneuma100.jpgRev. Gary R. Linn, Children’s Ministry Today

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