MINISTRY TRUTH ~ SHARING FROM MY HEART... 💜
Can I be completely honest for a few moments, about ministry, platforms, opportunities, etc?
I shared some of this in a post a couple days ago, but wanted to speak more to this, and bring a little more clarity to what I shared.
Also, just to be clear, NO...I'm NOT saying ministers shouldn't ever build their ministry at all, or ever promote anything they do, or use the platforms that God has opened up and given them. Let's not say that I'm saying something I'm not. What I am saying, is that we have to be careful that doesn't become "the thing". And let me promise you that I'm not saying any of this to try to have some form of false humility, hypocrisy, or promoting us/me in some backhanded way...no matter what anyone says.😏 That is the farthest thing from my motives, trust me! 🤦♀️
We've had many ask us over the last few years, why we aren't ministering as much lately, or if they find out we're going to be ministering somewhere, why we aren't promoting it? We've had others ask us why we don't promote certain parts (rooms) of our ministry after they find out we minister certain things. Hopefully this explains a little bit more about that.
If I told you how many ministry "opportunities" we've turned down in the last few years, many would be shocked...it's been way more than we've taken. And of the ones we do take, we rarely even talk about or promote. Some due to the nature of the assignment (sometimes it's best to keep under wraps 😉); and some because it is simply for the church, ministry, or people we are going in to minister to/help, and we don't feel it is best to advertise and bring others in.
Much of the assignments we have are because of the relationships the Lord is forging with specific leaders, and that is for them and their team/ministry.
Also, if I told you how many pastoral/leadership/ministry positions we've turned down through the years, you would again probably not believe me. And again, NO, I'm not saying that to brag, or try to say anything about us. That is truly not my motive here.
Many of them seemed like a "good" thing, but they weren't what He had for us in that season. The Lord has taught us to say "no thank you!" a whole lot more than we say "yes please"!
There was a time when we took ministry "dates" just to fill up our calendar, and so we could go minister somewhere. We went almost anytime someone asked us to come minister. I remember a stent several years ago, where we were traveling somewhere for 12 weeks/weekends straight with no break. Was it good...sure I guess? 🤷♀️ People were ministered to, and the Spirit always moved. Was it necessarily God? I'm not so sure that all of them were assignments He wanted us to take. In fact, I would say, looking back, much of them gave us good ministry experience, but they were not necessarily "God" assignments. We were honestly exhausted, and it wasn't the best for our life, marriage, or health.
As I mentioned earlier this week, I truly haven't wanted to, or even felt led to, share many of my words with Charisma or any other outlets for the last 2 years or so, even though I had the accessibility to submit them to be published. 🤷♀️
I used to for several years, and then I just felt led to step back from all of it...honestly from so much of "ministry" as it were, from promoting our ministry, and even from taking ministry engagements. It has been one of the best things I/we could have done...for our life, for our marriage, for our ministry. So many things have become about promoting ourselves and our "ministry" nowadays, and I for one am tired of a lot of it. Hear me...I didn't say all of it, I said a lot of it. So much (not all) is insincere, prideful, and "show", and although there is a fine line between confidence and pride, I want to make sure I don't cross it.
God needed to slow our roll, and He has had many other things for us to focus on in this time, some ministry related, some life related, and some simply building foundations for where we are going and what He has for us to build in the future. Foundations take time.
I see so many creating ministries and names for themselves (instead of letting God do it), where there is not a good foundation. One good hit and it will tumble, and the enemy knows that. He is simply biding his time and waiting for the right moment. Many...so many are called, but they are not ready yet. Some have been ready, but for where the Lord is taking them, they need more preparation for that next level of where He is wanting to take them. They have not gone through the correct process to become seasoned and ready.
When I felt released to begin submitting my words and articles once again earlier this year, I was surprised that they began to publish almost all of them. Usually in the past it would be maybe 1 out of 4 or 5 submitted, they would publish.
It is clearly a different time for me, and the Lord is showing favor in this way. But I also am always still asking the Lord, as the platform grows, "Lord is this what you want me to do? Lord, shut this down if you don't want me to do this!" I am also always saying "Lord are you sure I'm ready?"...which is much different than when I was younger, and would say "Lord, I'm ready!!" 😏 #Seasoning #Wisdom #NeverAssume
There is a timing for all these things beloved...and we do not want to step ahead of God and begin to let man or flesh open doors (and they can!) that God isn't ready to be opened. Even in ministry, and what may seem "good"...but is not exactly God, or is not yet God. All ministry is not God...and some is not yet God. 😉 After looking back, I am so grateful to the Lord for the many doors He has closed, the times He has slowed us down, or stopped us altogether.
To sum up, for ministers, just be sure of the timing and the motive of all you do, and in each season the Lord has you in, you are being led by His Spirit in all things. This is a "Call", not a vocation.
Hidden in Him,
Amanda Shiflett ~ Prophetic Reformer