From: The Pastor’s Heart
To: You

I’m sending you this daily inspiration from a hotel room in Bloomington, IL. If you’re not aware, Pastor K. & I drove my father here today to celebrate the homecoming of one of his brothers. The trip should have been a little more than 10 hours, but because of road construction, rain, and a bad accident that shut down the expressway, this was a “Long Ride.”  The length of the trip, however, is a great parallel for what we have to be able to do in ministry…We have to make up in our minds that we’re truly in this for the LONG RIDE!

Someone once said to me, “Pastor, ministry would be so much easier if I just didn’t have to deal with certain people.” Though that may be true on the surface, it just doesn’t make any sense. Ministry is about people, it’s with people, it’s for people. One of my favorite Bible verses is found in Matthew 5:16, it says, “Let your light so shine before men that they see your good works and glorify the father who art in heaven.”  The power of ministry is the ability to remain faithful despite the challenges that come from dealing with a diverse group of people.

The church is the one institution where we are not afforded the opportunity to review, read the resumes, or even acquire an expert’s opinion on the people that we are about to connect with in ministry.  Some come with a vast amount of knowledge, energy, and spirituality. Some however, come with a multiplicity of issues and contrary spirits that have the tendency to adversely affect our spirit and even character. Some arrive in our lives and immediately make a positive impact, and then there are those who come into our lives and immediately their negative image becomes a prominent weight of contention.

Now before you start identifying those persons that work your nerves or have challenged you and even your faith, think about how long it took for you to get to a place where you no longer frustrated God. It’s possible you’re still thinking because it’s probable that periodically you still frustrated God. I know I do. I say I’m strong but then I act weak. I say I’m committed and then I don’t show up as I should. I say I trust Him and then I worry. All of those things frustrate God. But the beauty of God loving you and I, is that He made a commitment to stay with us for the Long Ride.

So now you and I, if we are true believers and our lives are to make a difference, we must stay in this for the LONG RIDE!  We can not become weary in well doing in ministry. We don’t mind waiting and holding on when it works for our good, but ministry, true ministry is about staying in there with people until they become who God has destined them to be. That’s the vision of our ministry, to develop a total person in toward God has destined them to become. You and I have been given another day to impact lives in a positive way, so let’s get busy building up and not tearing down.

That’s part of the reason why I am putting together the “Reclaim the FIRE” conference! We must set standards of excellence & not only adhere to them, but hold each other accountable to them. We must make sure that God is glorified and the enemy is horrified. So that’s why am depositing into you every day whether I’m at home or away because our work is important!!

Bottom line is, we are in this for the LONG RIDE. Suck it up!  Man up! Step up! and most of all… Help Up!