Owning Your Work By Melinda Delahoyde
Do I Own My Work?
“He worketh”. Those were the words that greeted me in my devotion this morning. The author goes on to say, “He shall perform the cause which I have in hand…my own particular work today… This is what I may ask Him to do for me and rest assured that He will perform it.” (Streams in the Desert, Letty Cowman, May 22nd).
He worketh. Do I really believe that statement? Do I believe that in the daily decisions and tasks of ministry management – strategic plans, metrics, measurable inputs and outcomes – that God will work? Do I believe that He will “instruct and guide me with His strong right hand”?
Do I even want Him to work in the specific tasks of leadership and management? Well, not really. More often than I want to admit, I believe I have this covered! After all, leaders have natural gifts, multiple educational degrees and years of ministry experience. Many are natural born leaders who have been “leading” since they mastered the politics and personalities of the elementary school playground!
No, I often think I own my gifts, abilities and what God has given me to do. Yes, I pray for God to guide and bless the ministry and our plans. However, it is my job to make the strategic plans and measurable outcomes happen. I own the work. It is up to me.
I do not think I am alone in these thoughts.
Yet, this life of owning the work of Kingdom ministry is not producing the results I expected to see. Leadership burn-out, ministry fatigue and moral failure are all too familiar experiences in ministry work. The pressure to succeed, or at least look like we are succeeding, is great.
God wants our life testimony to be that “He worketh” in everything He has given us. That life of peace, joy and freedom that Jesus describes, the life of the Vine and the branches, is what He longs to provide for us. He wants us to have that joy and peace in ministry. We can change. He will perform all He has given us to do.
Some of God’s most productive servants, such as Andrew Murray, Amy Carmichael and Hudson Taylor have all written often on this topic. Here are three simple steps to a new kind of life in ministry taken from their books and journals.
Each morning be still before God and let go of the plans, strategies and ideas we have prepared for the day. Let Him infuse His life into the work of our day.
Pray and Listen
Make room for silent meditation and then bring our requests to Him. Believe that God will actually provide instruction and direction for the specific work today.
Invite Our Team
Bring our ministry team into the experience of trusting God for the work. Let God transform our ministry culture. What an encouragement this will be for them and those we serve.
These are only simple beginning steps for moving into a life of stewardship (not ownership) of our lives and work. The steps will look different for each of us, but our life desire will be the same. We all want that life of peace and joy in serving Jesus. We want our work to be a testimony of Him. He will encourage us. God knows us and will bring us into this life. He worketh!
Melinda Delahoyde is a lifelong leader in the pregnancy center movement, she is the former President of Care Net. She has worked with Care Net from its inception, serving in various roles both on staff and on the Board of Directors.
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