5 Musts for Lasting in Ministry

3. Test your faith in God.

I know this seems like a goofy point, but part of what helps your ministry to grow stronger is wrestling with God. Of course, you will always lose, but your faith becomes stronger as you go through the process. Three areas that must be wrestled through are Sabbath, Tithing, and spiritual disciplines. Do you believe God can do more with your 6 days than you can do with 7 days? Tithing is a matter of the same question. Does your faith truly believe God can do more with your 90% than you can do with 100%? When it comes to spiritual disciplines, do you let God have more and more of you so that your ministry remains a passion and never becomes just a job?

4. Make John 3:30 a daily reminder.

He must increase, and I must decrease. Humility is the name of the game. It always wins over pride. I love John the Baptist’s approach in this passage. He knew his part, knew when to let go, and didn’t let peer pressure from his disciples deflect him. He just stayed the course. Who can you help build up in another ministry? In a peer-to-peer ministry? In your church? In another church? When we are Kingdom focused, we “get it.”

5. Don’t surrender leading.

So often in trying to empower others, we forfeit the leadership gift God gave us. It doesn’t mean you don’t listen; it just means democracy isn’t always the Godly way. I am all about being a collaborative learner, but sometimes in ministry, the majority isn’t right. Many times through scripture, the majority didn’t like getting out of the comfort zones and taking a risk for God. The hardest place I have been in ministry was when I was with Godly people, and it was me and their opinion. Sometimes God wants you to submit; sometimes He is calling on you to lead boldly. Never surrender that! When I have stepped out with God, everybody wins.

As I look toward another year, I pray these points will help you find satisfaction, fulfillment, and legacy in your ministry.

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Steve Gladen has been on staff at Saddleback Church since 1998; he currently oversees the strategic launch and development of small groups at Saddleback as well as the staff of the Small Group Network. He has focused on small groups in several churches for almost 20 years. Steve oversees 2,500 adult small groups at Saddleback and loves seeing a big church become small through true community developed in group life. He has co-authored several books, including 250 Big Ideas for Small Groups, Building Healthy Small Groups in Your Church, Small Groups With Purpose, Leading Small Groups With Purpose, and Don't Lead Alone. Steve does consulting and seminars championing small groups and what it means to be Purpose Driven in a small-group ministry.