Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Lessons Learned

In the eight years (almost nine!) that I have ministering to the disadvantaged children here in Valdosta, I have learned many lessons.
First, fulltime ministry is not easy. Sounds trite, I know, but so many people think they can quit their job, go into ministry, and in their head, not have to "work" anymore, or that because you're dealing with pastors and other Godly people that everyone's going to be nice and play fair. HA! I laugh in their face. I've never worked so hard in my life, been more frustrated, but also never so blessed. And although God's people are His, they're still just people.
Second, as far as support goes, don't put all your eggs in one basket. The body of christ is large and diverse. Why would you want to partner with only a small portion of it? "Every joint supplies a need."
Third, if you try to do everything yourself, if you think you're the only one who can do it "right", you'll be dead in 6-12 months. Maybe not physically dead, but you won't be much good to the kingdom. (At least until you quit thinking like that!)
Fourth, you have to be 'answerable' to someone. Someone has to be your sounding board, someone who can tell you, "Now, that's just plain crazy, you can't do that." or "You are going to have to apologize to so-and-so and make that right." or "You aren't seriously going to try to add that to your current schedule." For me, that person is primarily my husband, altough I also have an awesome Board of Directors. You must not forget to be "answerable" to your flock, as well. Scripture says to "submit yourselves one to another", in other words, don't just submit yourself "up", but all around! That means, even the youngest participant of our Bible Club is heard when they have a comment, complaint, suggestion, etc. When Mya tells me I'm grumpy, I check my attitude. When Zay wants to wash cars to raise money for camp, I help him make it happen.
At this point, I'm going to remind you that these are lessons I said I've learned over 8+ years. That means that for the most part, I've learned these lessons the hard way, finally walking it out. And there are so many more I'm currently learning.
We have always tried to breathe life into His Hands by monitoring and adjusting our ministry to better fit the needs of those we minister to. We've made mistakes along the way, but we're learning and growing. Together.

1 comment:

  1. Good first post, Mary! I admire you and always have. I'm glad to call you my friend and to be able to say that you helped me get my small business started! Love you much. I posted your blog on my fb and I'll mention you on my blog.

    ReplyDelete