People see what we do, before they see who we are. This carries a great temptation for those of us in ministry, to focus on what people see, and neglect who we are. Ministry from the outside in is not sustainable. Ministry from the inside out, is not on sustainable, you can thrive in it.
Busyness and what has been referred to as “the tyranny of the urgent” can easily take over and dominate our thoughts, and priorities. I want to challenge you to consider abandoning that type of ministry altogether. Return to the core of who you are in God, and how this shapes every facet of your life.
Recently in an attempt to refocus in a spiritually healthy way, in a particularly trying season of life and ministry, I sat down with a piece of paper. I drew out by hand who I am, and then what I am supposed to do, as a child of God. My categories include spiritual health, physical health, family health, relational health, ministry health, professional development health, missional health, and kingdom responsibilities health. All of these exist for me, under the concept of a crucified life, all for the glory of God. The simple exercise helped me think through where I currently am, and where I need to be, and make some needed adjustments.
Your categories will likely look different than mine. The point is, to be faithful and effective in the long-term, we must do ministry from the inside out. Stay close to God, seek to become more like Jesus, and be filled with the Spirit. True life is found only in him!
Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I love by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.