My 25 Years In The Ministry
I love painting, drawing, and sketching. I love watercolor, acrylics, gouache, and Chinese Brush Painting, but you may have noticed, I’ve been doing more digital art lately. There is a reason for this.
While I’ve always loved digital art, and animation, I’ve been doing a lot more of it lately. One reason is, as the parent of a one year old, it’s quicker and easier to grab my iPad, than water, paints, and canvas.
Another reason is, for Father’s Day, and my twenty fifth year in the Ministry, my Wife Ashley, and some dear family members, blessed me. They gave me an iPad Pro and Magic Keyboard. I’m writing on it now.
To me, a tool that special deserves to be used. The Apple Pencil and the software I’m using has helped me do some of my best digital artwork ever. Tools are so important to what you do.
As the gift is immediately tied to my twenty fifth anniversary in Ministry, I began to think of the tools in Ministry. What would I have wanted an experienced Minister to tell me twenty five years ago? I’ve narrowed it down to three, to those starting in Ministry.
First, crave a deeper walk with God, not a deeper Ministry. Ministry is the net that a fisherman uses. A walk with God will sustain you in those times when you’re too scared to Preach, to stressed to write, and to burdened to pour into others. However, that’s still not the reason to get closer to God.
The reason to get closer to God, is literally to get closer to God. Your heartbeat will align with His. Your vision will be about pleasing Him, just as His vision is to pleasing you. That doesn’t always mean you’ll enjoy the process, but you will love the results.
Everyone is so quick to point out, and correctly, that all things are designed to give God glory. What they fell to point out is, this isn’t for His ego. He will receive glory from creation itself, but His glory causes us to be changed from glory to glory. Every experience with God enhances us.
Just as He seeks to bless us, our desire becomes to bless Him. It is a circle, a true relationship. It is a marriage, we need Him, and He desires us. I can’t imagine my life without Him, and He gave His life so we would never have to know a day without Him. That’s first, and foremost, love and know God.
Second, listen. Listen to God, listen to others, but listen to those who have a true voice. Don’t listen to those who would puff you up, because they’ll also deflate you. Listen to criticism, don’t close your ears to it, but also listen to those who have your best interest at heart.
Third, help others. Help those you’re jealous of, and you’ll find that jealousy will eventually dissipate. It won’t be overnight, but it will make you a better person. Help those who can do nothing for you, it will keep your own motives in check.
Help those behind you. Remember how you felt, and how you would have liked for anyone to have reached out to you. Be the future you, that you would have liked to talk too.
Help those beside of you. Don’t allow yourself to be so caught up in your own cuts and bruises, that you miss the friend bleeding to death beside you. The silent screams of friends can be deadly in this day and age.
Crave God, listen, and help others. That’s my advice. Those three things have kept me in storms louder than I could think in. They’ve brought me through oceans I was petrified that I would drown in. Lastly, they have held me through sleepless nights.
If you can do these three things, you’ll do more than paint beautiful scenery with your words. You will carve out a path that leads others to The God that is Your Friend. That’s the greatest Ministry someone can have, and the greatest gift you can leave others.