I must admit that there are times when I am battle-weary.
I have become drained, burned-out, and feel that any impact I can make is not enough.
Dear Soldier, have you ever felt this way when serving the Lord through this army of Salvation? You are not alone. Perhaps we need some helps along the way. We cannot do battle alone, we were never called to be solo soldiers, individual super-soldiers doing everything on our own – No! The stronger we are together, the more impact in this world our service for Christ to others can be!
Today, here are 4 ways to Ignite (or perhaps re-ignite) Passion In Ministry!
Here’s a top four count-down:
4) Read, and Keep On Reading!
Challenge yourself to pick up more books on tough spiritual concepts. Read about the spiritual journeys of other Christians and Soldiers. This will give you insight into how Christ has been working and is working today! Be a reader of more than just fiction books. I say this because I really love fiction novels, and perhaps some characteristics in those fiction books can help, but in order to stretch yourself, become a reader and student of other Christians. Read the writings of Samuel Logan Brengle and General Frederick Coutts. Read Bonehoeffer, C.S. Lewis, N.T. Wright, Thomas Cahill amongst others. Do not limit your literary choices to just the Salvation Army world, expand your reading. In so doing, you will find hope, joy and passion of serving the Lord! A little warning too: you will also see where we as an Army can do better and greater things, so reader beware!
3) Stop The Monkey Work And Serve!
In The Salvation Army (and any other organization or movement) there seems to be endless paperwork, reports and office work to do. I think there is more than two certainties of Death and Taxes, there is also Monkey work. I do not say this to be critical or disparaging, I say this because it is true. We can become so bogged down by monkey work that we never really leave our offices and we stop seeing the mission of why we do what we do. Stop the monkey work for a day…get out of your office or your cubical and serve others. Do so in small and large ways. Take the time to use your hands for others instead of pushing paper…that will still be there when you get back. When we serve, there is something cathartic about it. There is something heartwarming. We have made contact with someone other than on an email or social media thread – we have touched the heart of someone in need. We looked them in the eyes, and was able to help in some small way. This can be done by even talking to people. Many just need someone to talk to, someone to be there and just listen. If you want to ignite or re-ignite the passion, stop the monotony of monkey work and help serve!
2) Take Your Sabbath.
I have said this before and I will repeat it again, because I feel convicted about this. Perhaps you will disagree with me, that is your prerogative (thanks for your opinion, now here’s mine). Sunday mornings, if you are the officer or local officers and you have an active role in leading ministry – you need more than just that service to be your Sabbath! Yes, worship is impactful. Yes, connection and fellowship is vital. But Sabbath is more than just a worship service. Sabbath is resting in the presence of God. I would venture a guess that many do not spend enough time in solitude with God. Jesus took time away from His disciples. He went apart from them and communed with the Father. We too must find this type of Sabbath – even if it is for an hour or half an hour. Take your Sabbath, rest, recharge and re-ignite your passion! If you don’t it’s like never charging your cellular phone, it will be dead soon enough and useless. Stay connected to the Father. Pray often, let those prayers become constant conversations and make a concerted effort to take your Sabbath.
1) Friendship – Comradery- Accountability
Soldiers, you need fellowship. When we see eye to eye, laugh and even cry together bonds for friendship and relationship deeply develop. Do not take this for granted. Some have assumed this permanent soldier of solitude position and they find it to be a very lonely place. Rest assured, we need you! We need your fellowship. Make it a vital intention and priority to spend time with friends and fellow soldiers. Do not take these moments for granted. Together in fellowship we can face many things head-on. We are stronger together and weaker apart. Find friends and peers that you can trust to hold you accountable too. This ought not become laborious or a class, if it becomes that then it can lose its special-ness, and feel more forced. But find the friendships that make you laugh, challenge you, and makes you want to keep going in this Army! Sometimes these friendships might not even have an Army connection, and this might provide a fresh set of eyes and broader perspective on things. Friendship cannot be over emphasized here, especially when you are on the front lines in this army! We need each other to reignite our passions and purpose! Hold fast and make this a priority!
These are just four suggestions to help ignite passion into your ministry (again).
They are not placed in an order of importance mind you, feel free to use these and without a doubt there are other means to do this!
YOUR TAKE: What are other ways in which we can ignite our passion in this ministry & mission? Ponder with us, leave your comments here, we want to hear from you!
Something more for this Army world to ponder today!
**Disclaimer: The views and thoughts expressed here are not necessarily The Salvation Army’s view and thoughts, but the writer of this Pondering. Reader discretion is advised.**