ARE YOU AWARE OF MINISTRY PLATEAU?

This is December 2015, another year has gone by and I believe that many of us are thankful to God but others are looking back and saying there are many things I have not done this year, maybe I will do them next year?  All in all we thank God that he has given us a beautiful year 2015.
As many of you may be aware, for the last two years I have been doing graduate studies with Fuller Theological Seminary.  I have finished a bigger part of my studies and remaining with 5 electives. What a year!

During my studies, I was impressed by the study on Christian leaders who finished well, meaning that they reached the end of their journey with a positive legacy.  These are the people whose lives we study on and we desire to emulate them.

The writer of the book we used for this class is a gentleman by the names of Robert Clinton who wrote a very powerful chapter on finishing well; he however also gave some major warning to all of us leaders that we may be careful or else we may be among the causalities who never finish well.

I have been in Christian ministry for many years now and when I look back there are very many ministers of great ministries and great anointing in my country that we looked up to, who we admired and wished that we were like them.  Many of these have gone on to be with the Lord but others are still here with us, many of them we think about and praise God for a life well lived but for a few we are always wondering what happened because we hear nothing good about them.
The word that came to me during the study is Plateau.  It is usually not people what think about of those that fail, the big sin they committed, and the pride that failed them.

I would like to explain the word “Plateau” or plateauing as what happens in the life of a minister, where after a successful ministry, the minister’s life levels off, he/she is no longer progressing but he/she is also not decreasing.  It happens to many of us when in our minds we think we have achieved or we struggled so much and we feel that it is now time to rest.

When this season comes in the life of a minister, he really does not backslide but is no longer passionate about the things of God.  Yes he/she prays but only prays maintenance prayers, they preach but out of experience but not out of conviction, they serve but normally out of duty.  So what happens the ministry will stay but lose its impact, it flatters out.
I have been pondering about this and realized that as ministers we can grow weary and tired and fail to seek for times of refreshment.  The scripture that comes to my mind is Paul’s letter to the Philippians chapter 3:12-16.  At the end of his ministry life Paul was seeking for more strength and to get more renewal and refreshments.

How do we protect ourselves from plateauing?
Ø  By having Paul’s attitude of knowing that we are not yet there,” I have not reached”
Ø  By seeking after time of refreshment, this comes through seasons of Sabbath (rest in God) when we move and move without sitting back to reflect and resting, we get into burn out and what really happens is we just get tired of everything so we enter what we call a maintenance mode, because we have to keep in ministry, we just serve out of duty and what we already know instead of a passion for God.  Every minister should consider having at least a weekly day of total rest and reflection or once in a year a season of vacation.  What is the last you had a vacation? 

Ø  The third way to approach this is to keep going to places where the spiritual fire is burning.

§  I love attending conferences especially renewal and revival conferences.
§  I love getting opportunities to attend prayer meetings and also get involved in such.
§  The other one is to interact with young ministers.  Young ministers always have a lot of fire, they always love to explore.  When you interact with them, they remind you of those days when you were still young.  Ministers try to keep young.
 
Ø  The other area is getting out of my area of comfort, the city church, and comfortable office and going to serve in areas where there is brokenness, people who are struggling to pick up a ministry their lives of faith are very inspiring.
All this reminds me of where God took me from and I don’t take things for granted.  God has blessed our ministry in Gaba and recently the church built me a beautiful office but my window faces Gaba market and every now and then, wind from the fish smoking place blows into my window.  Many times it disturbs me because it smells badly but a few months ago the Lord reminded me that all of Gaba used to smell like that and it used to be a very poor village.  Even that little reminder keeps me thankful and reminds me of where God took me from, and the many people living in such an environment are the very ones that God needs me to serve.

My prayer for you as you end the year is that you keep looking on to Jesus and keep that fire burning.

Merry Christmas!

 

Comments

Unknown said…
Thx Pastor for that inspirational. We will endeavor to keep the fire burning. Daniel

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