How to Avoid Ditches in Ministry

Avoiding Ditches In Ministry

National Association of Christian Ministers How to Series: Ministry #

By Michael Mooney, NACM Exec. Elder

The first principle upon which all leadership is founded is that of personal development.  Jesus taught his ministers this truth in the form of a rhetorical question: “Can one blind person lead another? Won’t both fall into the same pit?” Luke 6:39.

Rhetorical questions are not intended to be answered because the answers are generally understood by those who hear them. Leaders use them to direct the hearer’s attention back to the basics of something that should be obvious. For this reason, sometimes those who use such questions are mistakenly perceived as being sarcastic.

Personal development is a self directed initiative to improve self awareness of personal strengths,  weaknesses, biases, and potential blind spots. This is driven by a desire to reduce personal character flaws, and strive toward maximum potential. It is the essence of the type of good stewardship that “renders unto God what belongs to God” -that is ourselves.

Ironically, ministers are often the most vulnerable to blindness in this area. This is because we are generally viewed as teachers of truth. When we first come to Christ it is because we are seeking truth for our lives. The unfortunate thing is that after we find something we tend to stop searching for it. It is easy to make this mistake regarding truth because Jesus promises to lead us into all truth. Naturally, when we find Jesus, we do not need to continue the search for the true God. However, the mistake is in believing we have found all truth. When we find Jesus, we have found the source of all truth, but this does not mean we have learned it. For example, we may identify a set of encyclopedias as the source of  thousands of facts, but until we read and comprehend them they are merely a reference. The same is true of Jesus. He is the source of the minister’s truth, but it is only by a lifelong relationship with him that we comprehend a life that walks in the truth.

The conclusion is that ministers must constantly seek the light of Christ in their lives first by an attitude for personal development. It is only then that we may have the confidence and influence to lead others away from ditches.

Let Us Pray: 

Father, as ministers of the gospel we pray that we never lose sight of your instruction to humble ourselves to your ways. Search our hearts with your light so that no darkness may exist to blind our eyes by the pride of knowledge for the truth. In the name of Jesus, amen.