Christian ministry requires great strength of character

Have you ever stopped to consider why Jesus only chose people who held down jobs as His disciples? Any thoughts on why He chose people who could keep hard working day jobs as His disciples?

Let’s check it out, Luke was a highly educated doctor, several were hard working fishermen, one was a trained tax professional. Why choose them? Is it because these people had the social skills and personal discipline that is needed to withstand the pressures that come on us as we stand for Him?

When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. He told them: “Take nothing for the journey—no staff, no bag, no bread, no money, no extra tunic. Whatever house you enter, stay there until you leave that town. If people do not welcome you, shake the dust off your feet when you leave their town, as a testimony against them.” So they set out and went from village to village, preaching the gospel and healing people everywhere. – Luke 9:1-6

Time and again Jesus said that if He was rejected, we will be too. He told us to expect it.

But we also know that when people with low self esteem suffer rejection, it really stings. If that person goes through extended difficulties and opposition where respected elders oppose them, they might crumble mentally or emotionally.

Why didn’t He let the demoniac man come and be His disciple, as the demoniac man requested? Surely the man would have been a hard working and very loyal follower. But Jesus denied him. Why? Was it because that man needed to take some time to learn social skills and to learn HOW to keep a routine and to brush his teeth, after being demonized for all of his life?

The Cost of Following Jesus

As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” Jesus replied, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” He said to another man, “Follow me.” But the man replied, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” Still another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say good-by to my family.” Jesus replied, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.” – Luke 9:57-62

I think that many people see ministry as a great idea, something to do with their life. Jesus was warning that it’s a serious commitment – and NOT something everyone is able to do.

Let me ask you this. What kind of inner emotional health do you think Jesus had? Consider the immense pressure that He received from His leaders. Consider the anger, agression, rejection He faced from common people. Consider how He held up as He was being tormented by His abusers.

Clearly Jesus was a strong man. We also know that Paul was a strong man too, known for being extremely dedicated and extremely hard working.

There IS a role for everyone in the body of Christ. The bible says that not everyone should be a teacher. In the same way not everyone should lead a church.

But everyone does have 1 or more gifts and everyone can easily figure out what they are and use them. Check out this post: How we love others – a parable of the church body

Take care of yourself. Look after your needs. Grow. Heal. Recover. Take the time to develop within yourself. Get strong first, because you will have more of yourself to offer to others in love. 🙂

2 responses to “Christian ministry requires great strength of character

  1. Great post. I actually am on staff at my church and I so identify with what you wrote. I just turned in my resignation yesterday and have accepted a position at a large Christian company. Ministry is just plain hard, and you don’t have to be on staff of a large mega church to know that! One of the biggest issues is that everyone is burned out. The need is immense. People are hurting and need to go through the healing process like you said. Unfortunately we are also so busy that we don’t take the time to get the help we so desperately need. Another huge issue is that 20 % of the church is doing 80% of the work. We had a prayer meeting a few weeks ago and prayed that the Lord would send more workers. The Lord has given us all gifts like you said but we are not using those gifts to advance His kingdom.
    Our churches need help and prayer. It is so hard when there are only a small percentage who serve consistently and constantly. Sometimes the need is so great that people are being put in positions that they should not be in. I had a talk yesterday with our marriage pastor and we were tlaking about this exact thing. Just because you are on staff at a church does not make you a leader.

  2. I feel that Jesus chose men who were skilled at leading and using their inner senses (faith) to make credible decisions.
    These were men that used faith every day to fish and navigate in perilous waters. Physicians and Tax Collectors had to be highly skilled at using their God given talents to do their jobs.
    First and foremost they were business men who were needed to help establish churches and build his ministry that in Luke (10 :1 ) includes 70 disciples that he sent out in pairs to heal and preach.

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