Are you working for God or with God?
Wednesday, January 08, 2014
There's an interesting dynamic that occurs when you earn a paycheck in ministry. Your work, and particularly, your performance on the job becomes tied into your relationship with God.
When I worked for a ministry, I struggled with viewing my relationship (and right-standing) with God through the lens of how I felt I was performing on the job. Looking back, I realize how dangerous that mindset can be to our faith.
Feel like you blew it at the office? Well, I guess God isn't pleased with me. Totally impress your co-workers and the congregation with an event you planned? Wow, God must be thrilled with me today! Your work becomes a gauge for your status with God — and that's a scary place to be.
God created us to have a relationship with Him, not for what we could do for Him. No matter how much people are impressed with our accomplishments, we can't do enough for God. After all, He created us and provided for our salvation.
There's a lot we can and should do as servants of Christ. We should work faithfully, as unto the Lord, to reach people and make disciples. Whether you're leading a small group, balancing the church's bank account or coordinating volunteers, we all have a responsibility to serve. The key is to remember that our relationship with God isn't dependent on how quickly we check off our to-do list or how many hours we work at the church.
God wants you more than He wants what you can do for His church. Yes, our faith should propel us into action. However, in my experience, most church staff members aren't going to err on the side of slacking off. They're much more likely to wear themselves out trying to earn God's (or man's) approval or because they feel (even subconsciously) that everything rides on them.
So how do we combat this tendency?
Bring your schedule and to-do list to God in prayer. Ask Him to show you the motivations of your heart. Are you trying to earn His approval? Are you trying to earn your pastor's approval? Are you taking on responsibilities that aren't really yours to own? Are you neglecting your relationship with Him or with your loved ones to work more hours?
Listen carefully, hold your tasks and goals with an open hand, and be ready to make some changes as He leads you. Seek counsel from friends who don't work with you and ask for advice regarding your schedule.
We aren't meant to shoulder the work of reaching the lost all on our own. Jesus told us to abide in Him to bear much fruit. Let's seek first to cultivate a deeper relationship with God. A natural outflow of that will lead to greater wisdom, renewed energy and reaching more people for His Kingdom.
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