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A Secret to Longevity in Ministry

Next, I had a man walk up to me, declare he had been committing adultery on his wife and they were in the process of a divorce, and he was planning on marrying his younger girlfriend. He continued to say that his father and grandfather had done the same thing. But, it had dawned on him this was a deep root of generational sin and, if he did not repent of it, it would take root in his sons and grandsons and also send him to hell since he was an unbeliever. He then asked if Jesus could save him, save his marriage, save his family and save his legacy. I told him yes. And he believed it. He smiled and told me, “That’s great. Let’s do that.” So, we prayed to Jesus together. I then gave him directives for what repentance to his family looked like and he was completely receptive and eager to do what was right as the Holy Spirit flipped a switch in his heart in an instant. I was hopeful.

Ministry is about two things

People. Ministry is about Jesus and people. Jesus is amazing. People are fascinating.

I honestly love hearing the story of God’s grace woven into someone’s life. It is never predictable. It is always amazing and fascinating and devastating and encouraging. I am convinced that longevity in ministry is in part sustained by the Holy Spirit enabled ability to find people continually and genuinely fascinating, and loving to meet them no matter how awesome or awful their story might be. Once people surrender to Jesus, anything is possible, and so there is always hope even when everything seems hopeless. Admittedly, ministry can cause us to grow weary and lose heart (Heb. 12:3). It can be overwhelming, exhausting, discouraging and devastating. But people are fascinating. Those who become bored with ministry often have simply stopped meeting people, because people are not boring — they’re fascinating.

To the young leaders who want to finish well, remember this: Ministry is about Jesus and people. Jesus is amazing, and people are far too fascinating to ever be boring.  

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Pastor Mark Driscoll is the Preaching and Speaking pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle. He is one of the world’s most downloaded and quoted pastors. His audience—fans and critics alike—spans the theological and cultural left and right. Follow his updates at twitter.com/pastorMark.