1- Genuinely loving and caring for people is foundational.
When a church or community detects our sincere love we have begun to earn the right to lead and serve them. And they will be more astute to this fact than we can possibly realize -even to those we deem as unsophisticated. Talent will be a short-lived impression without genuine love. (See 1 Corinthians 13:1)
2- The only sustainable ministry model is to pour out what has been poured into me.
Unfortunately ministry has become a culture of the next shiny new thing. Trends, books and conferences can trick us into looking for fixes, platforms and models. Fresh ideas will never substitute for a vibrant, life-giving relationship. My experience and walk with Christ is the day-by-day, year-by-year source for ministry. It is a slow, mundane and behind closed door process yet the fruit of it is unmistakable. It requires discipline and thirsting for God.
3- I can only be me.
The pressure to compare and contrast with others is intense. God gives us all individual gifts, experiences and a unique design that He wants to use. Introvert or extrovert, musician or athlete, church girl or not- makes no difference as long we put Christ on display. God has given me the stewardship of the unique life of “Kathy Schell Ferguson Litton”. I can only be her for the glory of God.
4- Character matters.
The noise of talent, marketing, creativity, radicalness and bold leadership is very loud. Social media brings this to the forefront on a daily basis. It has skewed our definition of success. Who you really are when no-ones looking trumps 140 characters of illusion. The people you live among will see your honesty, integrity, humility, work ethic, responsibility, kindness and etc., even if your Twitter followers don’t.
5- I must be “smoking what I’m selling.” (Sorry, not exactly ministry wife vernacular.)
The gospel I “sell” must the gospel I know and taste. It has to be the power that transforms me, the ultimate source of my security and identity and my hope in death. The gospel should be growing in its reality and sufficiency in my day- to-day life. No tract will ever communicate the gospel as powerfully as me telling someone of the depth and richness of it in MY story.
How about you? Lessons you wished you had learned sooner? Jump in and share.
Published August 5, 2013