Luke 9:57-62: “On the road someone asked if he could go along. “I’ll go with you, wherever,” he said. Jesus was curt: “Are you ready to rough it? We’re not staying in the best inns, you know.” Jesus said to another, “Follow me.” He said, “Certainly, but first excuse me for a couple of days, please. I have to make arrangements for my father’s funeral.” Jesus refused. “First things first. Your business is life, not death. And life is urgent: Announce God’s kingdom!” Then another said, “I’m ready to follow you, Master, but first excuse me while I get things straightened out at home.” Jesus said, “No procrastination. No backward looks. You can’t put God’s kingdom off till tomorrow. Seize the day.”
You can easily read this passage and think, “Man, Jesus is really cold.” But what he was trying to teach is that “following Jesus” will not be convenient … It will disrupt your schedules, change your vacations, cause you to lose sleep … and it will be tough, hard work. 3 people who wanted to follow Jesus, but did not understand the inconvenience of life with Jesus.
Lessons 1 – Ministry isn’t always convenient.
Your sweetest spot can be found in the most inconvenient situations. One of the ministry mantras I have had for nearly 20 years is “at the end of the long days and late nights did anyone hear about Jesus.” Life with Jesus is never convenient but it is always worth it.
Lesson 2 – Ministry is about priorities.
Many people love the “rock star vibe” of ministry but they don’t want the “hard work lifestyle” of ministry. Every leader knows that ministry has to be prioritized. We can’t do everything. So we have to make our list of priorities. If you don’t have priorities you will do a lot of things poorly.
Lesson 3 – Ministry is not always glamorous.
I still do things that I don’t necessarily want to do, but they must get done. Serving behind the scenes is as important as serving in the limelight. In fact, I believe it is more important. I learned this principle playing sports: “Practice prepares you for performance.” The truth is practicing is not the fun part – performing or playing in front of an audience is. But more of what we do for Christ is behind the scenes.
Lesson 4 – Ministry is about us changing our lives.
You see, Jesus did not change his direction – he asked us to change ours. One of the keys to leadership is to make people feel uncomfortable and inconvenient. You can become stagnant if you are comfortable. Every day we have to make the “right” changes in our lives so we can experience the right outcomes.
Pray and think about:
- How inconvenient is ministry?
- Is it worth it?
- Am I only doing comfortable ministry?