Ministry is impossible. I can’t do it, but sometimes I forget that. I can’t change a heart. Only the Holy Spirit can do that. I can’t even make someone want to come to group, let alone choose to deny themselves and follow Jesus. But the Holy Spirit can. That’s why I need his power.
Ministry is draining. Leading others over a long period of time can leave me empty. But hearing from Jesus and sensing his love for me refreshes me like nothing else. That’s why I need to be in his presence.
Before we are servants of God we are children of our Heavenly Father. That is why we need time with our Father. Spending time to cultivate our relationship with God is essential for our work in ministry. Oddly enough, if I neglect time with him it will not be because I don’t want to take it. It will be because I enjoy it but see it as a personal luxury I cannot afford. But that is exactly wrong. Jesus said, “If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5).
One of the ways I remain with Jesus is to spend time alone with him worshiping, reading scripture, listening in prayer and journaling what I hear. I make it a point never to make my scripture reading double as sermon preparation. I don’t read the weekend’s text in my devotional time. This is time for God to speak to my soul as his child, not as his servant/worker. Even so, every once in a while I will get an insight or have an idea for ministry that comes out of my time with God. That’s fine, but it is not the point.
Jesus offers us his power, wisdom, strength, love and guidance. Let’s make sure we stay connected to him so that our souls will overflow with His presence.
This article originally appeared here.