“People should think of us as servants of Christ, the ones God has trusted with His secrets. Now in this way those who are trusted with something valuable must show they are worthy of that trust” (1 Cor. 4:1-2 NCV). We have a tendency to think of stewardship only in financial terms. While managing money with integrity is important, there are some other “valuables” that deserve our care.
Personal Walk With God- If we fail to make our relationship with God our number one priority, everything else we value and hold dear will be at risk. In the Great Commandment passage in Matthew 22:34-40, Jesus teaches us that everything else in our life “hangs” on this principle. Those of us in ministry must not allow what we do to usurp who we are. First and foremost, we are sons and daughters of the Father, through the redeeming work of the Son.
Family- Our service to and for the church must never come before our responsibilities to our spouse and children. Your family is your first pastoral responsibility. Former General Overseer Cecil Knight was noted for adapting a famous saying from Jesus to “What shall it profit a man, if he gain the whole world, and lose his own family?” Make marriage and family enrichment a priority.
People- Nothing on this earth has the potential of going to heaven except people. Jesus didn’t die for church buildings, bake sales, food pantries, or softball teams. None of these things are bad, but they are not primarily important to the mission of the church. Love your flock like Christ loved the church. Reach out to the harvest of souls in your community that are lost. Focus more on people with eternal souls, than things that are temporary.
Calling- Each of us has a very personal story about our calling. It becomes an anchor point for us as we navigate the challenging seas of ministry. Everything you have done in ministry to this point, has flowed out of that moment when God set you apart for His special purpose. Cherish and continue to develop your calling for His glory.
Heritage- Someone has said, “If you see a turtle sitting on a fence post, you can be sure it didn’t get there by itself.” We should remember that we stand on the shoulders of countless saints that have gone before us. They sacrificed so that we can have present opportunities in ministry. We must make sure that we don’t drop the baton of spiritual heritage, faith and anointing that they have handed us.
Vision- While we value the past, we must embrace the future. What incredible opportunities for Kingdom impact lie before us in Kentucky. There are 4,484,047 people in our state. Jesus gave His life so that everyone of them can be saved. Let us dream big, work hard, pray diligently and love them into the Kingdom of God.