I’ve been doing ministry for about 25 years now. (Insert “old guy” joke here). In those 25 years, ministry techniques have come and gone. I’ve learned both good and bad ways to minister to people. There are plenty of things in the last 25 years that have and have not worked. Over the last few years I’ve seen a few things come along that I believe have made me a better minister. Here are a few of them…
- CELLULAR PHONES: One of the biggest blessings in my ministry has been the use of a cell phone. I’m no longer tied to an office or having to constantly check in to see if anyone is looking for me. Now if you want to find me … wherever I am … you can. I can check on people, send messages and be found at anytime. Now for those who scream, “There are times I don’t want to be found,” I will totally agree … simply turn it off or put it on silent.
- LEARNING TO SAY “NO!” One of the worst things I did early in my ministry was never saying “No.” I had a hard time not signing up and being involved in everything. I would spread myself so thin that I couldn’t do things very well. Now that I’m okay with delegating and saying “No,” I’ve become a better minster … and am more productive at the things that really matter.
- SOCIAL MEDIA: There are both pros and cons to social media (Facebook, Twitter & Blogging). I’ve found that I can use social media for ministry. Here are some examples: Facebook … In the community where I live, I’m friends on Facebook with a huge portion of the community. I’m able to pass along information about events, activities and spiritual challenges with people from my community that are unchurched. As for blogging, I’m able to reach 1000’s on a daily basis through a blog. Over the past 3 years, you and I together on this blog, have raised close to $100,000 for missions in Honduras and feeding the hungry. Social media has become a HUGE part of my ministry in the past 4 years.
- PUTTING MY FEAR OF FAILURE BEHIND ME: In the past I struggled with not trying certain things in ministry because they might fail. I thought that if an idea or project failed, then that made me a failure. When I finally got past that fear, it opened up some new and amazing ministries for me. I have new ministries and new outreach ministries that have blessed people greatly because I took a risk. Plenty of things fail, but more plans have succeeded. Dream big, people … God can make those dreams come true.
- I QUIT SEEING PEOPLE AS PROJECTS: For the longest time I saw the poor, the hungry and needy as projects. When I finally quit seeing those people as ministry projects and started seeing them for who they really are it opened my eyes to a very different ministry. So if the homeless and poor aren’t ministry projects, then what are they? They are now my friends who have needs. They are loved by God as deeply as I am loved by God. When I start seeing people for what they really are, God’s children, I’m able to minister to them better.
- STICKING AROUND: The longer I stick around at a place, the better my ministry gets. I’ve been in Childress now for nearly 9 years. Before moving to Childress, I was in Tulia for 10 years. I can’t even begin to imagine trying to do ministry and moving every two years. I’m not sure what the average stay is for ministers, but the longer I stay the better my ministry gets.