How do you do this thing called ministry? There are days when I think I’ve got it all figured out only to make a rookie mistake later that very day. There are times when I think I understand preaching only to fall flat on my face almost immediately. I think I get what Paul is saying in 1 Corinthians 10:17 - “Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall.”
How do you do this thing called ministry? It was nearly 35 years ago and was the day that Leonard Johnson retired from teaching at Freed-Hardeman University. He was 70 and his retirement was mandatory. Incidentally he began that day by doing 100 pushups and 100 sit-ups, spoke in chapel and taught 4 classes that day. I was honored to sit in the last class he taught there. This man knew ministry. He had “done it all.” Served as a local preacher (he preached for 66 years), worked as a church planter, been a missionary in Nigeria, served as a president of several christian schools, helped found what is now Faulkner University, taught, not only there and FHU but also at Oklahoma Christian and David Lipscomb, even broken a few hundred stallions (to read more of his remarkable life go to Scott Harp’s excellent site: http://www.therestorationmovement.com/_states/alabama/johnson,cl.htm). I think he might have something to say to us about doing ministry well.
How do you do this thing called ministry? That afternoon in Auditorium C of Loyd he said: “There is one key to being effective in ministry.” Are you ready for this? “Love the people you work with.” So, in-spite of the frustrations, distractions, setbacks, discouragements, hinderances, roadblocks, or dragons you face this week, regardless of how you’ve been treated, mistreated, talked about, persecuted, blamed unjustly, lied about, or beat up - this week - remember this - LOVE THE PEOPLE. It's not always easy, in fact, it rarely is, but like most things that take effort, it is worth it. God will smile and His Kingdom will be blessed.