Sometimes I try to count the errors within ministry that I have made. I would like to think that I could recall all my ministry mistakes. However, the reality is that there are many I am unaware of. I entered into student ministry fully aware of my reliance on God for life and life eternal, but through ministry, God has revealed to me that my reliance upon Him is much grander then I imagined.
The saint burns grace like a 747 burns fuel on take off. –Dallas Willard
The all-consuming machine of salvation that drives us towards the Lord God is powered by grace, and within this awesome machine of salvation are many gears, one of which being ministry. Left to my own devices I would only serve myself and only in the manner that I desired. However, God has placed His machine of salvation into my very being, and I have now become a living demonstration of His grace. It is the grace of our perfect God that allows me to serve Him in the midst of my imperfection. The grace of our generous God that allows me to be a participant in the good works that He has prepared for me. As the gears of salvation turn transforming me inwardly, my ministry is a reflection of grace outwardly. Or so I hope….
Remember this; or you may fall into error by fixing your minds so much upon the faith which is the channel of salvation as to forget the grace which is the fountain and source even of faith itself. –H. Spurgeon
There is not a day that goes by that God does not overwhelm me. He extends so much goodness, faithfulness, and mercy to me… so much grace! If God is the fountain of grace then I am a toxic pool of sin that His purifying waters have flooded into. The fact that I am a pastor does not change that truth. I am man of pride, selfishness, and hypocrisy. So, how is it that I am able to serve God by making disciples? How is it that His Gospel permeates in my soul?
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God. – Ephesians 2:8
The answer is grace. The very same grace that I burn through every single day as I strive to draw close to Jesus Christ. I hope to do a better job of modeling my reliance on God’s grace to my students. I pray that my students would come to rejoice in the grace of God instead of shamefully clinging to sin in silence. I have both made and will continue to make many mistakes in ministry…. Praise God for His rich love and mercy because I have a grand need for His grace!