November 8, 2016

My 8 Pieces of Advice to Young Ministry Leaders

The one thing I like at this stage in ministry is being able to look back and say that I have truly gone through, endured and learned a lot. With this experience comes a lot of wisdom, not to hold and keep to myself, but to share with others.

If I could give some advice to younger up and coming ministry leaders, the following would be what I think is crucial to successful development, but much of which can also be carried over to other areas of leadership outside of ministry.

Here are eight pieces of advice to young ministry leaders.
  1. Deal with your flesh issues now. Years ago, when I first started studying and dissecting the bible, I not only learned valuable spiritual lessons from the failures and successes of the individuals in it, I also discovered that they were human just like me. 

    Each and every person in the Bible had their own issues. I write about this here. Just as the Apostle Paul had flesh issues, so do you. So does everyone in ministry.

    No matter how much we may look as if we have it all together, we don’t. We are human and we make the mistakes of humans. However, that is no excuse for you not to deal with your issues, no matter what they are. 

    One of the reasons why ministry leaders succumb to moral issues is because they didn’t deal with their flesh issues as young disciples. In Four Things That Trigger Temptation and How to Overcome Them, I wrote that, temptation is one of the many things of this world we are distracted by. It is a spiritual weapon used to steal our joy, kill our spiritual influence, and destroy our relationship with our Lord. 

    Just as Paul dealt with his flesh issues, constantly working on killing his flesh, dying to his old ways, overcoming temptations, and resolving personal issues, so should we. 

    Whatever your flesh issues are, deal with them now. Try reading 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 daily. I did.

  2. Invest in a coach or mentor. It is a fact that most leaders who succeed, have a coach or someone who mentors them. I am where I am today because I had some great people who coached or mentored me, both in and outside of ministry. So, get you one or more of these. They will help guide you along the way, so that you can go a long way.

    A coach or mentor looks different to many different people. For example,
    some see my blog as such, and use it for personal learning and development. Others use it as a resource for information.

  3. Practice faithfulness. Being faithful means being consistent, dependable, loyal, and steadfast. It is one characteristic of what the apostle Paul calls the "fruit" of the Spirit.

    I have found that faithfulness to ministry is hard to find lately. One reason is that too many have been led to believe that the only ministry that matters is that of a pastor. Not true! I write about this
    here.  

    If you’re looking to please Jesus, then you should practice being faithful to His word first. Being faithful to Him first will help you to be faithful to others. 

  4. Develop an inner circle that will make you better. Do you have an inner circle of trusted friends you can depend on to help make you better? Cultivate an inner circle of at least 3 to five people that are smarter and better skilled. 

    As a leader, you should remember that who you allow in your inner circle will determine your success. To help you in this area, here are 7 Kinds of People You Should Never Let in Your Inner Circle.

  5. Give your gifts and calling the attention they deserve. People who are good at something become great at something because they recognize that they are good at it, and give themselves wholly to it. In other words, they meditate on it. Focus on it. Eat, sleep and live their gift. 

    The greatest athletes, entertainers, CEO's, etc. go to great pains, spending hundreds and even thousands of dollars to master their gift. They hire coaches, consultants, experts and trainers. They buy books, attend classes and conferences, all in an effort to give the gift God has given them the attention it deserves. So should you. I write more on this here

  6. Get used to spending time alone. When I say time alone, I’m talking about stillness. I’m talking about spending time to hear from Jesus. That quiet time that every aspiring ministry leader should become familiar with. 

    Spending some quiet time alone allows you to reflect and focus on what really matters. It also helps to restore your energy, as well as renew intimacy with Jesus. Go ahead, I dare you to try it.

  7. Work even harder on your character as you do on your outer appearance. Looks can truly be deceiving, and too often we can be good at looking the part, but what’s the use of looking the part when your fruit is terrible? 

    God is not a fan of deception or the author of confusion. First wash the inside of the cup and the dish, and then the outside will become clean, too. Matthew 23:26 

    Outwardly appearing upright but inwardly remaining full of corruption is called a sham. Sooner or later it will catch up with you.

  8. Stop Imitating Other Leaders. Don't get me wrong, you can learn from other leaders. You can learn from them how to handle an issue or how to conduct yourself as a leader. However, constant imitation of someone else can do damage.

    The problem comes when you begin to imitate their speaking styles, mannerisms and cadence. You admire them so much you begin to take on their personalities to the point you are no longer you.
    Here's what I've discovered having experienced this myself. It's not really the person you're imitating, but rather it's their gift your desire. Envying someone else's gift will cause you to neglect your own. I write about this here and
    here.
These are my eight pieces of advice to you. Trust me, there's more, some of which you will find in some of my other blog posts.

I hope you will consider my blog a valuable resource to help you grow in your ministry.

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