08 November 2014

Longevity ~ Dare to Disclose

A few months back I began a series that has certainly been challenging and thought- provoking for me. I hope God is also using it in your life. The information discussed comes from a sermon by the senior pastor at my sending churchMy notes start with these words: "Like longevity in life, some basic things are needed - right genes, right diet, right exercise, and right environment." Can you see the spiritual parallels? Examining how these principles apply to longevity in ministry on the mission field is forcing me to evaluate whether or not I've been building into my daily life the right sorts of habits and practices to facilitate such longevity.

In the first few posts of the series, I shared the foundation my pastor laid out: to "start, run and finish well," includes two key components. First, we must trust in the sovereignty and sufficiency of God which includes praying like everything depends on God. At the same time we must be obedient, working daily as though everything depends on us in God's strength and for God's glory.

What does the practical outworking of that look like?

Studying through the Bible references my pastor gave in that sermon, I've identified seven essential priorities that help protect from burnout and the temptation to sin... ones that direction and hope for the future... ones that remind that all is grace and a gift from God.

Those priorities are:
  1. Growing an increasingly intimate relationship with the Lord by consistently, daily and throughout the day, seeking Him
  2. Praying without ceasing (steadfastly, continuously, patiently, powerfully); 
  3. Striving to maintain a good balance between personal growth and service or ministry
  4. Welcoming accountability
  5. Committing to marriage and family; 
  6. Choosing to be teachable even in difficult circumstances; and 
  7. Determining to be a genuine team player.

Recently, I've spent some time looking at what I think just might be the hardest one of these priorities for those of us who consider ourselves followers of Jesus. Add on the detail of full time Christian worker, minister or missionary... and we become even less likely to welcome what is, at best, viewed as an intrusion.

And the dreaded word is...

photo credit: yksin via photopin cc

...and for the rest, please join me over at Missionary Mom's Companion, where I'm continuing with a super-challenging-to-me series on longevity in ministry.

Hope to see you there!

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