theCORE – essential values for new ministers
Session 1 – Establishing a healthy CORE.
I remember talking to a athletic trainer several years ago and one of the things he said was, “You have to establish your core before you can bulk up.” As young pastors we have grand visions of the future… big ministries… big churches… 1000s of people falling on their faces in repentance! But the reality of it all is there is no way we will ever experience these hopes until we establish a good core.
- What do you believe are 4 essential CORE values for any young minister?
- How do you think these 4 CORE values can shape your future ministry?
(C) Called… Not Convinced. When God called you into ministry he didn’t commit you to the funny farm. Although we might think at times, “God what are you doing!?” His call on your life is not a burden. Never treat it as such. What an honor.
Have you heard Gods call for ministry on your life? What was that like? How does a call defer from having to be convinced? Why does this matter?
There is a strong difference being called by God and being convinced. Being convinced is rooted in selfish motives. Whether we are convinced by the glitz and glamour of the rockstar minister or if one of your friend/ family members said you would be a great minister… either way someone convinced you. We need to be confident in His calling upon our lives because without this calling we would never be able to sustain this life long journey.
(O) Open to whatever. Develop a heart of surrender to the Call. Stay humble, stay on your knees. Your heart reflects your actions. Whatever God has is good… Perfect… And no the grass is never greener on the other side of the fence.
When was the last time you honestly heard Gods voice in your life? How have your responded in obedience to Him?
I believe authentic ministry happens when we are prompted by the Lord. When we stand before the Lord in our private lives in complete surrender, what it birthed in those moments lead to authentic ministry. What would happen if we began to worship with surrender? Preached from a heart of surrender? Left room for the Holy Spirit to prompt us and lead us.
To develop an attitude of surrender can only be known and established in time. Our faithfulness in the Word and prayer is where we honestly hear God’s voice. There is power and clarity when we are on our knees.
(R) Relationships are your job. Your life revolves around the people you are shepherding. Trust me, I’ve learned the hard way, people are looking for their pastor to care. No matter what your gifts are, relationships matter. We’ll talk more later about how to deal with hurting people. We are in the business of relationships and connecting with people.
Share one good example of how relationships matter in ministry and one bad example.
***There is a trap here that must be addressed. We must be wise in having close friendships with the opposite sex. Have clear boundaries with the opposite sex is a must. Your integrity and character matter way too much for one incident to ruin what you have worked hard to protect. Establish strong, non-offensive boundaries with the women in your ministry/ team.
- What are some practical boundaries you can set with the opposite sex in your ministry?
(E) Experience the joy of serving in the overflow. When we establish a good rhythm of getting in the Word, The Lord fills our cups. If there ever comes a time in your life when you have lost the time to intentionally read the Word for yourself… Do yourself and the people you shepherd a huge favor and take a vacation. Burn out pastors lead unhealthy churches.
- Why is it so beneficial in your ministry to serve out of the overflow? How can you stay fresh in ministry?
Creating healthy spiritual rhythms in your life to allow the Spirit to fill. Get up early. Use cancelled appointments to read. Is there are time in your week for intentional Bible study? Not sermon prep… but intentional study. It’s during these times when the Lord reveals His heart for you… not your ministry. When we are satisfied in Him, He is most glorified in us… and the people in our ministries see it. (Quote from John Piper)
- What are some spiritual rhythms in your life that keep you fresh?
Have you heard the phrase “leaders are readers?” Reading is one of the best things I’ve done in my ministry. The times when I’m in a good book, are the times when my mind is free to dream and allow the Lord to speak. Read books that have nothing to do with ministry. Read books that lead you toward Godliness. Read books that bring new perspectives to ministry. The point is to read. Different authors. Unique titles. Read about a hobby. Find a way in your week to simple sit and read.
- What’s the latest book you’ve read? What truth or insight did you gain from it?
Over the years, I’ve missed these moments and my ministry has suffered because of it. It’s not fun to lead when your heart is dry. On the other hand, serving out of the overflow leads to fulfillment and joy. Who doesn’t want to experience that!? We all need to do our very best to fill the tank. It takes hard work, planning and discipline to allow the “filling” to happen.
- Which one of these 4 CORE essentials resonated with you? Why?
- How have your noticed some of these core values played out in your ministry context?
Action steps: we don’t progress in life until we take action steps. Thinking is one thing, doing is another.
- spend some time this week seeking The Lord about your call to ministry.
- look at your week, when can you honestly carve out intention time to get in the Word? Not to prepare a Bible study, but for your own personal health.
- Find a good book to read. Goal: 4 books this year.
- Brainstorm a healthy Spiritual rhythm for this year… a good vacation, weekly moments of intentional Bible Study and daily prayer moments.
Steve Spence is the Student Ministry Pastor at New Vision in Tennessee. He has created more than 10 great youth ministry resources and you can find him on Twitter right here!