These are the lessons I learned from sitting and learning life, the last 14 years in my church. Last weekend, our church ordained my husband as a minister of the gospel and commissioned us as a missionary couple. I am grateful to what the church has shaped me into. I want to gather these lessons that I learned, many times in the back of the sanctuary walking and rocking a wailing infant, other times serving behind the scenes, and leave a trail with these words that were born out of my wailing to God.
This is in no way comprehensive, I might not even have scratched the lessons God wants me to learn in this life. I can’t imagine the volume of lessons that are yet to be learned. These are hard truths that I learned in various stages of my growth. Some will not make sense to you unless you were tested in that area.
- There is no ministry without relationships. Investing in relationships are important than any ministry we could build and lead or any position and titles we can hold. If we can’t die for a person who we worship with, how can we become missionaries and die for a heathen who don’t know the love of the Lord?
- People say church is a hospital for the wounded and unfit, agreed, its just one side of the coin. So do we as a church have the responsibility of being a tabernacle or temple that attracts the unsaved. So if we have been part of a church, grow in sanctification and grace. Otherwise we just might hinder these little ones who come.
- Be faithful to what you are called to. God met me at the back of the sanctuary while ministering to a wailing infant. All I have done in church the last 14 years was to support my husband, help in kitchen, encourage and mentor women, and teach little children. So many times I have been unhappy that I couldn’t “do” more or different. Guess what, 14 years of training, that is exactly what He wanted out of me. Unaware to me, He was looking for a supportive wife to my husband, who can also encourage & mentor women, teach and serve people. If only I had known!
- Meekness is equal to godliness… until abuse is tolerated. It takes godly wisdom to know when to be meek, persevere and die to self, to promote peace and when to stand up to resist injustice. When abuse is encouraged, meekness or political correctness is cowardly and ungodly. Please stand up for yourself and others in speaking up against injustice. Don’t be afraid of becoming unpopular or losing reputation. Political correctness is an easy hack if you want a compromised christian life. And don’t tell me, you are just being meek and godly.
- Don’t use your authority, until you have died for the majority. Yes, even when we use encouragement to shroud authority, really, that shroud is see-thru! People we serve can always see our motive. Moreover, although it is not a biblical motive to humility, the rule of see-saw up and down is very much active in ministry. Don’t use your authority to show people who you are, because when you fall, it is the same people who are there to care for you.
- Church has a Head and Christ is the Head. That should bring fear and comfort to us. Fear when we grieve the body and comfort when the members of the body are grieving.
- Don’t get carried away at the Hosannas of the gang. The “crucify her/him” are just around the corner.
- Your investment or ministry is the living baby lying next to you this moment and switched for a dead baby the next moment. Please don’t cut the baby into two, just because you lost your living baby. If you truly love the kingdom, let the baby live! Give up to grow/go up!
- You are never entitled to a naturally perfect crop. Even Jesus did not get one yet. He is patient with the weeds growing along with the wheat. The crop is perfected by sanctification. Don’t expect perfection just because you sowed the seeds.
- If you are not “doing” ministry and it bothers you, focus and practice on just surviving. Most days in the mission field, you don’t end up doing “great things.” You end up surviving another day.
- There is a real enemy and he is not your brother. Don’t waste your anger. Know who to go after.
- Singled out cub is the first one to fall, so really, bring the walls down and tie your hearts as one. Arm in arm, loneliness is a terrible comrade to fellowship with in the mission field.
- Entitlement is a dictator that demands the fat of the burnt offering people make. The last time two guys went after it, Hophni and Phinehas, they fell dead on the same day. Let’s lay down our entitlements lest we demand to fatten ourselves on the choice parts of every offering the people make.
- The last lesson is what my Pastor taught me. There are three kinds of people, fools who always fall, never learns. Some others who fall and learn from their falls and others who are wise, because they learn from the mistake of others and try not to fall.