Do you remember when you first entered the ministry?
You know that time when you were ready to push back all the ills of the world and nothing was going to stop the advancement of the Gospel. You were young (ish) and you were so full of the Spirit that nothing would stop you from making your mark on this world, for Jesus, of course.
What happened? Where did that passion go? Where did that optimism go? Where did the Spirit go?
Ephesians 2: 1-7 speaks of a church that has lost its first love. But make no mistake. A pastor of such a church has lost HIS first love. Unfortunately, all too many pastors and ministers find themselves in this situation and so do their churches.
So, again, what happened?
It most likely wasn’t ONE thing that happened. It was a mountain of sand placed on you one grain at a time. A disrespectful and possibly unsaved church member here. A misunderstanding with a lay leader there. A financial crisis here. A tragedy there and a failed event over there. Over time you just became more of a technician of the church and less of a Minister of the Gospel. You became more concerned about the maintenance of your congregation and their preferences rather than advancing the kingdom. It happens to virtually everyone. It even happened, in my opinion, to this amazing church in Ephesus that was started by Paul and pastored by Timothy.
Is there a remedy?
I think so. We find it in Luke’s Gospel:
For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”Luke 19: 10
We take on Jesus mission! Begin following the Great Commission. Read afresh and anew Matthew 28: 18-20. Find those thirsty souls in your church and begin pouring into them. ACTUALLY MAKE DISCIPLES and teach them to make disciples also. Make sure that the spark you once had doesn’t end with you. PASS IT ON!
There may be those in your church that are simply uninterested and prefer to spend their time planning the next event instead of learning to share their faith and live a holy life. (Nothing wrong with events by the way.) Let them! You as a pastor or minister must be about Jesus mission to seek and to save the lost. If you have lost your first love then the only remedy is to return to it. All else is loss. Philippians 3:8
If you aren’t sure how to get started, please reach out to the association. We’ll train you in the basic tools of 5-core tasks to help you get started. We love all of you and wish to see the HOLY SPIRIT move in a mighty way in our association. GOD BLESS!
-Jacob McAnally, Church Planting Coordinator, MSBA