May 20, 2019
Weekly Reflection – Relationship Nurtures Ministry
Relationship Nurtures Ministry and Not Vice Versa
How busy is your life of ministry? In the normal course of daily work many ministers find that their “to do” list expands to whatever they are willing to let it grow too. Eventually one simply cannot keep up. That often leads to what we call burn out. Perhaps more importantly, it can lead to a neglect of our personal relationship with God. Have you ever been there?
Earlier this week one of my spiritual mentors gave me a piece of unsolicited advice. He shared that in his 30 or so years of working with church people he has noticed that sometimes successful ministers become so involved with “doing ministry” that they begin to lose their relationship with God. The hectic pace of doing for others begins to override the work it takes to maintain a good relationship. I suppose the same would apply to a marriage or any other relationship. One must proactively work to keep from putting, as we jokingly say, the “wrong emphasis on the right syllable.”
May it be our relationship with God that nurtures our caring for others and whatever other practical tasks we must attend to from day to day.
So how does one maintain that desirable relationship with God? Most of us are accustomed to regular Bible study, prayer, and communal worship. There are also a number of other techniques, those that are called the “spiritual disciplines.” Some of these include silence, solitude, simplicity, spiritual reading, and meditation. Each of these can help. However, like our “to do” list, it is possible that undertaking these disciplines can become so routine we forget that their purpose is to bring us closer to God. It is all about the relationship, not the discipline!
Please take some time to consider how ministry and relationship interplay in your life. Relationships should nurture ministry and not vice versa. I will be thinking about that this week.
“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” (James 4:8)
Blessings and peace,
Read more reflections, Listening to Hebrews