When Ministry Becomes an Idol
I am very passionate about my calling and living out a life of ministry. I also believe deeply that I am called to help others discover how to live out their own calling. However, I have learned that if I am not careful, I can pursue ministry more than I pursue God. In fact, I had allowed ministry to become an idol in my life.
The Adoration of the Golden Calf by Nicolas Poussin
As a person with introvert tendencies it is easy for me to be drawn in by activities that stroke my ego. I have to admit that I like the emotions that rise up when I have the chance to pray and minister to others, that adrenaline rush that happens when I see God touch someone else. I find joy when someone tells me they really enjoyed one of my sermons. Ministry for God is good right? But it is easy for my emotions to get in the way and capture my motivation to serve God. I soon found thoughts of ministry had become the dominate force in my life instead of my praise and worship for Jesus.
At the end of the day nothing matters but Jesus.
I am grateful for God’s faithfulness and for the Holy Spirit to reveal this to me before it lead to real trouble. Several weeks ago I stood before Life Church and made the confession before the people God has called me to serve. I still have to be watchful but since that day, God has been faithful. My passion and love to worship him has grown and is growing exponentially.
It is important that we live out our calling each day to reach the lost of our communities, but we must remain diligent so our ministries do not become idols that we lift up higher than God.
A spellbinding apprehension of Jesus by our hearts wipes everything else off the table. Jesus bests all things. He dwarfs every competitor. Concisely, a person who is fully occupied with Christ, who knows Him well, and who is in touch with him through daily fellowship can boldly say, “Christ is all I need.” You can strip everything else away from me, and I would still be left with Christ. Take away my gifts and my ministry; take away the sense of His presence; take away my ability to read; and take away every spiritual and religious pursuit I have, and I will still have Christ. And in having Him, I have everything. — Leonard Sweet & Frank Viola, Jesus Manifesto
I pray that each day my love for Jesus will grow deeper and deeper. May his Holy Spirit cover me and continue to keep me on the right path to bring glory only to him, and I pray he will do the same for you.
Now it is your turn. I would love to hear from you.
1. Have you ever allowed your calling our ministry to become an idol in your life? If so how did you deal with it?
2. Are there other areas in your life that have become idols in place of God? How have you handled it?
Originally published at www.jonstallings.com