This is a guest post by Rev. Dr. John McDonald, Canada.
In Florida, they have a phenomena they call ‘sink holes’ where suddenly, without warning, the earth gives way and swallows everything that is sitting on it. These sudden giveaways always surprise everyone. Sometimes, there is loss of life, resources, homes and everything you could possibly think of. The explanation is simple. For a long time, something has been happening under the surface that eats away at the structure of the earth. A vacuum occurs as the sub surface earth deteriorates, unnoticed. Then WHAM, it happens! It reminds me of the shock we experience every time a ministry fails. You do not need to fail! You are servant of the Most High God!
Let me again suggest a few possible reasons for the ‘sink holes’ in Christian Ministry!
· Immorality: God delights in righteousness! My key note scripture in my Ministerial Ethics class is Jeremiah 9:24. Memorize it! Immorality takes us faster, deeper and keeps us longer than we want to stay. It finally destroys. Restoration is not a 6 month program, it’s a heart issue and may take years.
· Lack of Justice: Jeremiah 9:24. Everyone cries for justice. Injustice comes in many forms; racism, favouritism, nepotism, prejudice. This is something we must study and guard our own hearts from.
· Loving kindness: Jeremiah 9:24 This starts at home with parents, brothers, sisters, relatives and flows to the Body of Christ and finally to the world, at large. The nature and character of God is love.
· In Finances: You should have strict guidelines in place. This is of the highest priority because in today’s world, this temptation to get a personal larger piece of the pie is rampant. There are very few, scriptural templates to go on in this area. Let me suggest a few.
a. Personal and Ministry finances should be kept totally separate.
b. Divisions of your Ministry should be recorded separately and funds designated to those divisions, used exclusively for that purpose. Failure to do that is called fraud.
c. Pretentious cars and personal possessions leave an indelible mark on you and your ministry in the minds of both, unsaved and others in ministry. Many times, this leaves them to think God is not on their side otherwise they would be as blessed as well. Our brothers and sisters in Africa or elsewhere could use our extra wasteful dollars.
d. Annual reports should be standard procedure.
e. Keep the concept of ‘the widow’s mite’ solidly in your heart and spirit.
· Burnout: Every vehicle has a gas tank. When it’s full, it runs great and when it gets low, it creates fear, anxiety and confusion. I see us, as using some gas each day to minister to others. I see us, needing some of this gas to just do our own family and personal things. If we don’t fill up, sooner or later, we fail, burnout, become nominal, irrelevant and stale. When we run low, we need a fill-up. A topping up. There Must be the Fresh Flow, personally, of the Power of God!
· Check your Doctrine: Suffice to say, the New Testament is full of warnings about the last days and the lack of desire for strong doctrine. Check your preaching notes, even as an evangelist, get some food in there.
· Administration: The evangelist seldom has this in his DNA. BUT, they should have. It will be the knowledge of proper means and methods that will move your Ministry to a Higher Level. Learn procedures and protocol. It doesn’t mean you will forever have to do it, but you will know how to train others and in time, do it your way. (Hopefully, it’s God’s way, too). It’s a poor excuse in the Court of World Opinion that I didn’t know the ones working for me in that area were slothful, crooked or stupid.
· Friends: Have a few! Good people, godly, trustworthy, loving, fun, enjoyable and normal around you that can be comfortable with. They won’t use you or embarrass you or point you in wrong directions
With that remember again, You do not need to fail! You are servant of the most high God!
What are your thoughts? What are the other areas that you are reminded of?