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How to WIN the Battle of Ministry

Do they hide things?

Do they lie?

Do they adopt an “end justifies the means” morality?

Do they abuse power when it’s theirs?

Do they make godly decisions even when they made terrible mistakes?

Do they make rash decisions in panic?

These are all war-time questions.

When you’re hiring, look for how they handle themselves in conflict. Don’t just look for what they’ve done in peace time. It’s easier to hit the target on the practice range. It’s easier to run the hills with no pack on.

Look for whether they make godly decisions, have born fruit and made wise decisions in battle seasons. Do they carry God’s armor, or do they cave to the Enemy’s command? Do they surrender their core convictions for the sake of faux-peace, or do they help make genuine peace by standing for truth? Do their convictions bend when it’s expedient?

And then … there’s us.

When it comes to our own spiritual formation, we need to seek closeness to Christ that is inseparable in battle. I’ve seen many fellow pastors go into battle and come out with a spiritual PTSD that ends their time in ministry or jades them beyond repair. I’ve seen others disqualified because their character failed them under pressure.

Spiritual preparation for battle is one key to surviving it. There is no greater defense than the Holy Spirit.

A church’s future is shaped at least as much by the battle seasons as by peace-time. Battle skews the ability of leadership to make decisions when we aren’t prepared and alongside those who are strong in battle.

Take up God’s full armor. Be strong and courageous.  

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Dr. Tim Spivey is Lead Planter of New Vintage Church in San Diego, California--a fast-growing plant launched in 2011. Tim is also the purveyor of New Vintage Leadership - a blog offering cutting edge insights on leadership and theology and the author of numerous articles and one book: Jesus, the Powerful Servant.