When You’re Released
Some of my most difficult days in ministry have been the “in-between” days. Days where I live life in the tension between a “call to go” and a “call to come”. Days when I stand with one foot in the past and one in the future. Days when my words to hurting friends are not enough, and the tears in their eyes hit me straight in the gut.
The release of a ministry is hardly welcomed, and the call to a new place is often met with great struggle.
In our experience, a stir from the Holy Spirit is never an expected thing. Typically, the Holy Spirit works at the most inopportune time of our lives. We ask and ask and ask for direction… then “BAM”, just like the flick of Emril Lagasse’s wrist, the Holy Spirit moves. This can happen with most life decisions, but especially when God calls us to “go” in ministry.
Every ministry family walks their own path. For some, God leads a heart years in advance to a specific location, and for others he uproots and re-plants in one sweeping-whirlwind movement. Whichever is true for you, the road always requires sacrifice.
Each time that we have moved churches, (which we are currently on staff at our 4th official church), we have felt a release before we have experienced the “pull” to go. The release can be heartbreaking. Leaving a place of ministry is like leaving a garden you have just sown. You feel responsible for the seeds that are left to be watered and tended, but deep down you understand that the Creator is still in control, and He will tend to them himself…like he was all along.
What Christ Demands of Us
When Christ beckons us to follow Him, we aren’t allowed to give him conditions. We aren’t allowed to say, “I will stay for “x” number of years” or “I will only go ___”. We follow him anywhere He asks.
Yesterday’s sermon was based in Luke 9. The words of Jesus hit me square between the eyes.
57 As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.”
58 Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”
59 He said to another man, “Follow me.”
But he replied, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.”
60 Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.”
61 Still another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say goodbye to my family.”
62 Jesus replied, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”
Leaving is Hard but Abundance Waits
“Ministry wife life” is something that has been on my heart to write about for a long hard time. I feel that sometimes this road is lonely, especially when life gets tough. (Which is inevitable, btw.) I have committed to write a weekly installment titled “Ministry Wife Life” on different topical subjects, some of which I have struggled with while assuming my role as a “ministry wife”. They are in no particular order. The goal of each post is to draw back the veil of the title of “ministry wife” and examine the heart behind what we do. What the Bible says and what American church culture requires can sometimes contradict… simply because we are humans and we are fallible. Join me each Monday for a new post.