longevity in Ministry

Fireworks and the Stars

Love what Dr. Dave Williams shared this past month at Equip Conference.  Dr. Williams leads a network of churches called Mount Hope that stretch around the world, with over 12,000 members.  He was a true example in the way he ran his traveling ministry - bringing a half dozen intercessors with him, who not only paid their own way, but also prayed and fasted for days before the event for God to move in power.

Dr. Williams shared a brief example during one of his sessions, sharing how those with a true calling of God are like stars in the night sky.  While some ministers may come and go like fireworks, blotting out the stars with their brilliance, magnificence and shock value.  These "fireworks" ministers are bright and flashy and seem to come from nowhere and get ahead so fast, but they will soon fade out.  They are only like a brief, forgettable flash in the sky, while the stars remain steady and faithfully give light and accomplish the Lord's purposes.  Love that.

Reminds me of a moment this last year while on an advisory call with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, several of us leaders from around the country were sharing about our ministries.  One of the leaders from BGEA was impressed by how God was using us, but challenged us saying, "How are you going to make it in the ministry?  How are you going to keep your integrity and doctrine pure?"  

Made me wonder how many "incredible, world changing" evangelists and ministers they have seen come and go through the years.  Can you imagine how many people have passed up Billy Graham and his team, only to fail morally or doctrinally?  Many older leaders, the old guard, could probably share the same stories.  We are only in our twenties and have already seen so many evangelist and Pastor friends "drop like flies" around us morally and doctrinally.

Paul challenged his young mentee Timothy with the same warning, "Watch your life and doctrine closely.  Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers." (1 Timothy 4:16).

"The righteousness of the righteous man will not save him when he disobeys, and the wickedness of the wicked man will not cause him to fall when he turns from it ... If I tell the righteous man that he will surely lives, but then he trusts in his righteousness and does evil, none of the righteous things he has done will be remembered; he will die for the evil he has done." (Ezekiel 22:12-13).

"Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens and those who lead many to righteousness like the stars for ever and ever." (Daniel 12:4).