Over the past couple weeks I - David Wildman - have been packing, unpacking, and repacking my bike for an upcoming visit to FPAM Denver. Brian (FPAM Denver Chapter Leader) has planned a two night three day trip along the Vapor Trail. It's going to be epic and grueling all at the same time.
But, I don't want to talk to you about the trip so much as I do the packing for it. You see, I pack and repack because I'm attempting to prioritize what I want and where I want it packed. The process usually takes me about a month to get everything just right.
Personal Ministry is, in a way, the same process. As you start out, you're going to prioritize things in order of importance. The thing we want to bring to your attention is setting limits and boundaries. Trust us when we say you can easily get caught up in pleasing everyone and forget about God's will in your life. It's important that we pack and repack or in prioritize/review our prioritization according to God's will for our lives. Before we jump head first into ministry, we must spend some time in prayer and meditation on the things we feel we want to accomplish versus what He's calling us to do.
Matt Allen says it best:
God has given us multiple contexts in which to work and serve Him. It is important that we understand these different roles as we might find competing priorities or even conflicts of interest.
As personal ministers and practitioners of God’s Word, we stand behind this guide for how you might prioritize your investments of resources such as time, energy, or even money:
1. Jesus First
2. Care for our Wife or Husband
3. Care for our Children (If you have kids)
4. Care for the Church
5. Care for Others
When we prioritize, according to the above list, Our Creator is number 1. He will direct us in care of our spouse and family, then care for the Chruch (Jesus being #1 he will lead you towards where to serve at the Church), and finally through serving at the Church, according to His will in your life, you will care for others.
The next important thing in setting limits and boundaries is Solo Time. For us to care for others, we need time on our own:
Solo Time ensures we have a solid prayer life, and a quiet time to listen to God talk to us. Jesus did this on a number of occasions, taking time to go off by himself, away from the demands and inquiries from His closest followers.
Recommended Reading: Matthew 14:3, 26:36; Luke22:41
I can attest to this. Time spent on the bike is time alone for me. It re-centers me and gives me ample time alone in prayer to list to God talk to me. Solo Time is critical. We can't expect to help others if we don't take care of ourselves!
We saved this talking point for last - Give Credit Where Credit is Due. Remember... the reason we are doing all of this is to bring Him the glory and further His kingdom.
Colossians 1:24-29 the Apostle Paul beautifully describe his role in personal ministry and clearly states that it is Christ working in him that allows him to participate in the mysterious process of transforming lives through the Gospel. - Matt Allen
Matt Allen goes on to say:
Scripture makes it perfectly clear that while we are graciously given a role in communicating the Gospel of Jesus Christ to others, it is the very Gospel itself that transforms lives, not the people who are its purveyors.
Recommended Reading: John 15:4-5; 1 Corinthians 3:5-7
We want to end this post by highlighting something we said: "We can't expect to help others if we don't take care of ourselves!" We must prioritize our goals according to His will in our lives, take time for ourselves, and above all give Him the glory. If we get any of these items out of order or loss control of an item setting limits and boundaries will slowly unravel itself on you. Like a string on a sweater. We see something out of order, and we grab it and rip it thinking we'll just remove it and what happens? The shirt comes unraveled!
Take some time to review this last couple post on Personal Ministry. We're talking about important information for all of us to hold near and dear to our hearts.
If I could sum it up best: "We're playing with live ammo people!" Personal Ministry is about sharing the gospel. The live ammo is people's lives, your life, your kid's lives. We don't convict or convert, but we can easily mislead people towards misguided doctrine and theology because we didn't set limits and boundaries thus we got out of whack leading people astray. Make Jesus #1 and as Romans 11:36 says, "For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen."
Next week we dive into Module 3 of the Fully Packed Adventure Ministries Biblical Foundation material - Understanding The Biblical Narrative: Covenant Theology.
Thanks and God Bless!