This may seem like an absurd question, but it is one that must be asked. Could you continue to run your ministry the same, if all of a sudden you stopped praying? If for some crazy reason, you decided to stop talking to and hearing from God, could you continue to operate as you do now? Think about that. How difficult would it be to attend the same weekly staff meetings, conduct the same services, and perform your regular duties while fully neglecting God’s counsel and direction?
If we don’t take the time to slow down, it can become rather easy to forget that God wants to have an intricate part in what we do. We must recognize God’s desire to point us in the right direction and to help us along the way.
If we don’t take the time to slow down, it can become rather easy to forget that God wants to have an intricate part in what we do.
The Holy Spirit dwells within us to be a Friend, a Teacher, a Helper, and so much more. But in the extreme haste, we often find ourselves in, we don’t always listen. We can be like the child talking in class who never hears what the teacher is trying to impart.
Are you carefully listening and following God’s leading when you make decisions or are you making plans and asking God to support them? There is a big difference.
We must intentionally schedule quiet, secluded time, in order to get away from the busy world, to listen for God’s clear direction.
Priorities: God > Family > Ministry
Another incredible reason to slow down and spend time in quiet solitude is to remind us of our priorities.
“If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?” – 1 Timothy 3:5
We have all seen it happen more often than it should. A great pastor’s entire life falls to pieces when he neglects to take care of the first ministry God ever gave him – his family.
At some point in our lives, we have all been guilty of this. Full-time ministry is very intense work and requires a drastic amount of time and energy. Nonetheless, there is no excuse to sacrifice the needs of our spouse and children in order to serve the church. Those in our household need to be a top priority before we begin to pour into others.
Who do you disciple more – your children or your staff? Do you neglect date nights with your husband or wife to come up with new programs or curriculum?
Your children are smarter than you think. They know when your ministry is more important to you than they are. And although you would never admit such a thing, actions speak louder than words – or as Jesus would say in Matthew 7:20, we’re known by the fruit we produce.
One of the best ways to experience a dramatic increase of peace and joy in your life overall is to take care of your family first.
You know how draining it can be to finish a long day at the office, only to come home and find your children fighting, your spouse complaining, and the house a complete mess. Like it or not, this is all a result of your lack of leadership at home. There is no one to blame but the person whom God has established to govern this household.
But imagine coming home each day to a family that has been established on the foundations of love, honor, respect, discipline, joy, and prayer. Your house is now an abode – a place to be recharged rather than drained.
Ministry starts at home
Choose this year to place your family as a top priority in all that you do. Intentionally schedule time to play with your kids (it means the world to them). If you’re a husband, treat your wife like the princess of God that she is. Romance her and remind her of all the great things God has gifted her with – love her as Christ loves the church. If you are a wife, encourage your husband to pursue the dreams in his heart. Let him know how proud of him you are – show him great honor and respect.
By taking the time to remember your first ministry (your own family), God will see that you can be trusted with the small, and will bless you with much.
Realign & Recharge
Taking even 15 minutes at the beginning or end of your day to spend alone with God can instantly change whatever situation you face. One of the main reasons God wants us to pray – is not so that we can become “holier” – but instead, He simply enjoys spending time with us.
Do you know that God actually loves your company?
His desire is to encourage you, and align your thoughts to His perfect will (and perfect timing). Taking time to let Him know what’s in your heart is important. Obviously, He already knows what you’re thinking, but He loves hearing it from you. You’re His beloved.
It is essential that we get alone and carve out time from our busy lives to do nothing but simply commune with the Holy Spirit. We are to fellowship with Him, asking questions and discussing the desires of our heart.
Often it helps to get away from all distraction. We see numerous times throughout Christ’s physical life on Earth that He made time to pray – often going places where others weren’t willing to follow (like up a mountain), simply to be alone.
Where is your mountain? Do you have a place where you can fellowship with God undisturbed? Maybe it’s in your backyard after you tuck your kids into bed, or in your church’s auditorium, early before anyone else arrives. If you enjoy nature, it could be in the woods or at a park. The important thing is that you intentionally set aside regular time to be alone and hear from God.
Spending that quality time with Jesus does two things very well: it realigns and recharges you.
You’ll begin to think His thoughts and follow His leading more often. In addition to that, you won’t be running off of your own strength. But instead, the supernatural creativity, passion, and energy that flow from God’s core will fill you up and recharge you to accomplish the dreams He has placed on your heart.
But you can’t get charged if you aren’t plugged in. So make a habit of consistently setting aside time to fellowship with God.