The call of being a minister in my home church is one very significant duty that comes with challenging but spiritually fulfilling responsibilities. It is at that point I can view and assess my congregation from an informed spiritual perspective. I would comfortably think that majority of my congregation has the attitude of thinking like Jesus in the aspects of unity, humility and selflessness when interacting, serving, and ministering to and with each other. Such an attitude is cultivated through my able leadership as guided by the spirit of serving. It is evident in the various church activities that include praying for each other and helping each other in times of need. Such attributes as earlier stated have to be cultivated through teachings of the Scripture while practicing them in real life situations. While exercising my gifts of Pastor/Shepherd and administration, I teach, cultivate and maintain the thinking like Jesus in their minds through a deeper engagement with the Scripture.
It is important in the spiritual journey to fulfillment to acknowledge that most of us ministering in churches have a past that more often comes from a wounded life. Most of the times we would want to view this as a way of God communicating to us that he is the true living God. Am a truly wounded healer as I have a past that I recollect, and that has strengthened me to the person I am today. I appreciate a past where I went through emotional suffering and trouble, but I kept my faith in the true living God. As the book 2 Corinthians 1: 3-5 says that we praise him, he that is the Father of all comfort and compassion. We find our troubles comforted by him as even as we seek to extend the same comfort to those troubled as we were. It is in the same case that I was able to heal a wounded soul in my church. It was a woman whose marriage was facing challenges from her adulterous husband. Through prayer and fasting, we prayed together, and she was healed and is now very excited in her marriage.
The Holy Spirit is a powerful tool that God uses among his people in connecting them to a higher understanding of the world through the scripture. Personally, the Holy Spirit guides me through the motions of higher self-consciousness with the word of God. I can be able to view, seek, evaluate, and understand deeper messages that God is trying to communicate to me as his servant. The Holy Spirit helps me bind my emotions with the physical realms towards a rebirth of my conscious and soul as I interpret messages that mere mortals cannot fathom. An earlier experience saw me intervene in a situation where there were forces that were disturbing the soul of one of my congregants. He was being disturbed by demons that were interfering with his quest for spiritual fulfillment. He was afraid to say it, but through the Holy Spirit I exorcised him, and he was healed. It is important to obey the Holy Spirit as it guides us towards things that might be troubling us and we cannot be able to see normally.
I have a personal philosophy that guides me when am handling issues to do with sin among church ministers and or co-leaders and my church members. I believe in addressing sin at the lowest level where it has occurred. It has to be directly with a particular person or persons without the involvement of a third party. It is especially applicable to church ministers and co-leaders since they are the face of the church. The sin has to be communicated directly to me for handling. For my church, I stress as seeing it as an opportunity for growth and building on such sins. The philosophy came about as I felt for a long time that the letting a particular sin escalate makes things worse by the involvement of parties who should not be involved in the first place.
For someone who is involved in quite a lot of church activities day in day out, it is quite a challenge recording and keeping in mind the specific events of a particular day and what exactly happened. It is one of the challenges that church ministers face especially when put to the test. However, I am passionate and committed to my work that I would recall the events of the happening six weeks ago. I was the one leading that day’s sermon, and the message was about resilience in the power of prayer. I preached about Ephesians 6: 10 of how Christians should be strong in the “power of the Lord and the strength of his might.” I interacted with a church minister visiting from a neighboring ministry. The hours of service were around five.
At the same time, there are sermons in the past that have moved me and in the process have seen me reevaluate my spiritual life. It was during a time when a senior minister was preaching about temptation from the book of James 1: 13-18. The excerpt was specifically talking about how we often say God is tempting us in some situations. I had thought so in the past, but it was clear that God does not tempt or even get tempted by the evil one. The message was so powerful that I was moved to tears as I sought to reflect on my life. It took me a whole week as I went over and over the message of that day. On the same breadth, my daily quiet time with God is one of the most important and sacred sessions in my life. I view it a moment that I go before the Lord humbling myself and acknowledging am a sinner and seeking for his forgiveness. I pray for most of the things under the sun that are so wrong. It is a cherished moment that connects my spiritual self with that of God as I seek his understanding on various issues.
Sometimes as church ministers we acknowledge that we are human beings like any other and driven by real-life feelings. A neighboring church ministry may seem to be doing well and attracting congregants in droves. One may feel threatened and be tempted to compete. The temptation is usually there most of the times, but there is a way that I overcome this temptation. I, first of all, believe that what matters is not in the size of the church or congregation but rather the spiritual guidance to communicate relevant messages to my church members. Secondly, the Scripture is always at hand to help me overcome the temptation. The book of 1 Corinthians 1:13 specifically comes in handy. The message in the verse is that God is faithful to me that he cannot tempt me beyond what I can bear and when I might be tempted, he will find a way out for me to get over it.
In the self-evaluation of my leadership, I find that there are some things that I might need to work on even as I seek the ultimate finesse in leadership while guided by the Holy Spirit. One of the areas is the obsession for perfection. Sometimes am always in the clamor to be perfect and carry out my duties with absolute finesse such that I feel stressed when I in fail some aspects. Secondly, I have the mentality of wanting to be liked and seen as doing well to an extent it interferes with some of my decisions. Thirdly, I also have the issue of trusting people that it becomes hard, and I offend some people in the process. It is probably influenced by my past.
However, it would be necessary to develop a specific plan to address the above deficits. The plan would be rated on a score of 1-10 measured for a period of one year. During this time, I would want to engage the services of great mentors on a more intimate level. At the same time, I would want to build on my emotional and spiritual intelligence in the quest to correct some of my emotional shortcomings.I would also develop a connection with the people I work to ensure their trust.
During the end of the one-year period, I would want to measure my progress in various ways. One of the ways would be first of all accepting that mistakes will always occur when making decisions. I would want to review my reaction in such instances on the effect it will have on me. Secondly, I would want to act in a manner that my decisions will not be judged on the level of how I will be liked, but rather the rationale behind such decisions. Thirdly, I will see the level of trust improvement by how I engage with my church ministers and leaders. This will be through the level of designation and how I trust them to carry out some duties.
- McSwain, Larry L. The Calling of Congregational Leadership Being, Knowing, Doing Ministry. St. Louis: Chalice Press, 2013. Retrieved from http://public.eblib.com/choice/publicfullrecord.aspx?p=3119835.