Paul Tripp, in Dangerous Calling (pp .119-120) lists five ways that our ministry is affected by what rules our heart.
Do any of these apply to you?
Do any of these not apply to you?
“It is very difficult in ministry to give away what you do not possess yourself. In ways of which you are not always aware, your ministry is always shaped by what is in functional control of your heart.
1. If you are more motivated by the awe-inspiring experience of having the esteem and respect of the people around you, you will do ministry in way that is structured to get that respect, even though you probably aren’t aware of it.
2. If your heart is ruled by the awesome power that comes from controlling the people and situations around you, you will work in your ministry to be in control.
3. If your heart is more ruled by fear of man than by fear of God, you will build a ministry that erects walls of protection around you and build a moat between your public persona and your private life.
4. If your heart is more moved by the awe-stimulating experience of being theologically right than by an awe of God, who lives at the center of all that theology, you will be a theological gatekeeper who does not pastor messy people well.
5. If your heart is ruled more by envy over the awe-inspiring ministry of another than by an awe of the God who has called and gifted you, you will minister out of a debilitating dissatisfaction with the situation and location of your calling.”
So what do you do if your pastoral heart is ruled by something other than God? Tripp concludes:
“I don’t have a set of strategies for you here. My counsel is to run now, run quickly, to your Father of awesome glory. Confess the offense of your boredom. Plead for eyes that are open to the 360-degree, 24/7 display of glory to which you have been blind. Determine to spend a certain portion of every day in meditating on his glory. Cry out for the help of others. And remind yourself to be thankful for Jesus, who offers you his grace even at those moments when that grace isn’t nearly as valuable to you as it should be” (p. 124).