My previous post addressed five myths that I have encountered regarding marriage, mommying and ministry. Here are five more:
#6 Your kids will develop a deep love for God and the church if you are in ministry.
As you follow God’s call and opportunity to serve, your kids should see what that looks like; the good, the bad and the ugly. They should be taught truth, the Word and you should be a Godly example to them. But, as great a parent as you might be, there is no promise that they will choose a relationship with Jesus Christ or love the church as they grow older. Satan loves to attack our families. He enjoys rendering us ineffective when our kids seem to go off the rails. Each child must find their own relationship with God. You cannot do it for them and your service to God does not guarantee your children’s life outcomes. Pray, pay attention, model, be authentic with them, trust God and pray some more.
#7 Strategic ministry planning shows a lack of faith in God to work.
Over my many years in ministry, I’ve heard people ask why everything in church or ministry needs to be so planned out. “Why don’t we leave room for the Spirit to show up?” Or, “I’m speaking at the women’s study. Can’t wait to see how God shows up!” Ever heard something like this? Strategic planning is seeking God’s direction and prayer before your program, event or ministry begins. God works during the planning time. His Spirit guides and counsels us as we plan. As I read my Bible, I see God in the details. He has a plan for everything – creation, Adam and Eve, the flood, His temple, His people – everything! He is a God of order and when we place our ideas and hopes and desires in His hands, He will help us craft effective plans that serve Him and others well.
#8 Don’t worry – God’s got this.
This is one platitude that makes me grit my teeth. It’s right up there with people telling me to “smile” when they have no clue what I’m dealing with. Of course, we are not to worry. That alone is difficult to achieve consistently. And, of course, God’s got this, but what does that look like in reality? Are we just supposed to check out? Hands off? Quit praying or pursuing a solution to the problem? Are we to stop seeking wise counsel? Pretend it doesn’t exist? Of course not! If God has us in the middle of something, we are there for a reason. He wants to use us, grow us and teach us. When the good Samaritan saw the wounded man on the side of the road, did he think, “don’t worry-God’s got this” and walk on? No, he DID something. Find out what God is asking of us in these situations and then do it. Rarely does He invite us to do nothing.
#9 I don’t have time to develop or train people for ministry.
Over and over again, I see people placed in important ministry roles with inadequate training. Are they capable of great things? Yes. Are they smart people who want to serve? Yes. Then why would we handicap them by not training and equipping them as best we can? Many times these good people are able to get a lot done on their own with little input, so they are tapped for ministry positions. They have no team building, leadership or emotional intelligence skills and sometimes no theological foundations, but people like them and they get stuff done. In the long run, this inhibits good ministry growth. People must be developed as potential leaders and learn what it looks like to invite others in and develop them for intentional ministry. It is a priceless and productive investment of your time.
#10 Working on a church staff or Christian organization is the perfect job.
No. It. Isn’t. Nothing is perfect in this world. We can read about ministry disagreements and differences of opinion throughout the Bible. Check out Numbers 12:1-2, Luke 22:24-27, Acts 15:36-41 and 1 Corinthians 1:9-11 for a few examples. Whenever people are involved (ourselves included), there will be struggles. Christian environments should be different. They should be better at acceptance and celebration and forgiving and mentoring and promoting. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. Ask ANYONE who has ever served on a Christian board or in a ministry. You might not love how some people “do” ministry. You might love them, but not how they work, all their ideas or what they ask you to do. The challenge is to get to know how others are wired and gifted, use open and respectful communication and develop trust. These things require work, time and determination. Being a part of a Christian team and ministry is not perfect, but it is amazing.
I hope my musings on these myths have encouraged you in some way or spurred your thinking! I would love to hear about myths that you have encountered along your journey.