Time Out (by Jerry Schmoyer)
My first “full-time” ministry almost became my last. It seemed to consist of one battle after another. It seemed all I was doing was fighting a problem or dealing with an attack. It was very draining, not to mention discouraging. Through a difficult series of very challenging circumstances God removed me from that ministry. I’ve been in my current ministry for 28 years and, in contrast, have never again had the problems I faced in those first few years especially to that extent. This has been a relatively peaceful ministry of growing God’s people. What a difference! Sometimes we are called to fight battles and sometimes to build God’s house. David and Solomon are prime examples.
David’s ministry was marked with warfare, necessary and worthy battles against the enemies of God’s people. They had to be fought and God chose David to fight them. His son Solomon reigned during a time of peace and prosperity. He built God’s temple and dedicated the building to God. Of course, neither David nor Solomon were perfect, but each had his own God-chosen role in the Kingdom. The same is true of us. Sometimes God wants us to fill the role of a warrior but other times He may want us to fill the role of kingdom builder. Which is more important? Both are equally important. Each has inherent risks as well as certain advantages.
If you are now, or have ever been, in the role of a David please understand that was God’s call for you. It is a necessary role, even if not a pleasant one. Don’t think it was your fault or everything would have been OK if you had handled it differently. Sometimes battles are necessary to prepare the way for a ministry of peace and growth (maybe by you but probably by the person who follows you).
Being in a ministry that is a battle isn’t easy and unfortunately some leave the ministry because of it. But if that is where God has put you it means He feels you can fight and win with His help. You won’t always be in a warfare ministry, and quite often it is the new, less experienced warriors who feel the heat of battle at the start. Persevere. There will be quiet times of kingdom-building coming. Whatever you face remember it is His battle and if He put you in the midst of it He will stay with you throughout it all.
2 Timothy 4:9-17, “Do your best to come to me quickly, for Demas, because he loved this world, has deserted me and has gone to Thessalonica. Crescens has gone to Galatia, and Titus to Dalmatia. Only Luke is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, because he is helpful to me in my ministry. I sent Tychicus to Ephesus. When you come, bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas, and my scrolls, especially the parchments. Alexander the metalworker did me a great deal of harm. The Lord will repay him for what he has done. You too should be on your guard against him, because he strongly opposed our message. At my first defense, no one came to my support, but everyone deserted me. May it not be held against them. But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength.”
- Are you in a warrior or a temple builder ministry at the present?
- Whichever you are, do you recognize it as coming from God and not your skill (or lack of it)? Pray and thank Him for whatever role He has given you.
- Spend a few extra minutes praying for those with David-type battle situations. Give them a call or send them an email of encouragement today – let them know you are praying for them.
Jerry Schmoyer has been a minister in Pennsylvania for over 25 years and has worked with teenagers for 14 years, ever since I became one myself. He authors the weekly Time Out series here at Life in Student Ministry in hopes to spiritually refresh your soul as you continually pour so much of yourself into students. God bless!
Posted on August 23, 2009