"When you set yourself on fire, people love to come and see you burn." - John Wesley
I am grateful for the opportunity you are giving me as you read this article. In exchange for your effort, I hope to give back something that you already have, especially if you are in the ministry. In short, I desire to kindle afresh the gift that is in you. It is not that I presume your passion has dwindled or you're losing interest. But I believe our passion is quenched when we are pressed against our responsibilities.
Ferdinand Foch, commander and chief of the allied armies in France during WWI said, "The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire." We all entered the ministry because of passion for the Kingdom of God and our belief, that in some small way, we might be able to affect the world for God's sake. We experienced the natural progression of the Kingdom of God in our own lives according to Matthew 13:31-33: Jesus describes the Kingdom's infiltrating and consuming properties in a fertile heart which ultimately culminates in a changing of values. In this process, we enriched the fertility of our heart by dreaming about what our future, meditating on scripture which became the cornerstones of our ministry, praying for opportunity and faithfulness and learning from others that have gone before us. Our ministries were surely planted in a seedbed destined for success. Before you read on, reflect on the dreams you had as you entered the ministry and write them down.
Now that we have been in the ministry, we notice the pressures of leadership take a certain and perhaps unexpected toll. For some, it is the sometimes unhealthy demands of people in our ministry. For others, it is balancing time commitment of ministry with family and jobs. Still others struggle to learn how their ministry fits within the broader contexts of their congregation. These and many other concerns and pressures have a way of quenching passion. What pressures are quench your ministry passion? Reflect again and see if you can write down a few. When you were considering the ministry, did you consider these issues or are they a new revelation? For most, these passion quenchers are not new but you might have underestimated their influence.
Randal Ross, Pastor of First Assembly of God of Winston-Salem, North Carolina says passion comes from daily focusing on God, genuine passion comes from discipline, and passion comes from meditation and in fellowship. What daily focuses, disciplines, meditations and fellowship ignite your passion? Look at your first reflection – there is your key for birthing ministry passion. Fan to flame the focus on God and His incredible call to serve for the sake of the Kingdom regardless of your limitations. Once again commit to the spiritual disciplines that birthed and shaped your vision for your ministry. Meditate again on the scriptures in light of your ministry, especially how they empower and define your ministry. Allow yourself to dream again. Lastly, find the fellowship of others who support your ministry and vision. This fellowship will probably need to be outside the sphere of your leadership in order to be effective.