I write a blog about ministry and I wrote a book about church planting.
Sometimes I get a little panicky about these two facts because I have a little secret that I don't want uncovered: I don't know what I'm doing. Half the time, I feel as if I'm failing at this thing called ministry.
You'd think that after this many years of experience and the fact that I write about them here to encourage other women, I'd have it all figured out, but I don't.
I can certainly tell you a few things that I've learned along the way, but too often those lessons slip right through my fingers and I have to learn them all over again. And again and again.
Will I ever be free of that nagging drive to please men rather than God? I take two steps forward and one step back.
Will I ever learn to serve with the same mindset of Jesus, who humbled Himself even to the point of death? I am at times much too petty and resentful to become like Him.
Will I ever be able to rest in God's authority and provision and trust that He takes responsibility for the hearts of men? I try to snatch that responsibility from Him almost daily.
Sometimes I wonder if I know anything at all.
And, truthfully, I get so down on myself when I can't get it together, when I don't love people well, when I love myself most. I whip myself as I remember each little failure.
But isn't this the only lesson I need to know in ministry? I go back again and again, the grace of Christ drawing me close to this central truth that the weak are made strong in Him, that He is the only real minister, that the Spirit multiplies my paltry offerings, that it is through Him and for Him anyway.
God smiles a knowing, gracious, almost humored smile. You don't have to know it all. You don't have to figure it out, as if the hearts of men were formulas to calculate. You don't have to be somewhere where I haven't taken you. If that were the case, you would never wait on Me or depend on Me or need Me.
Knowing this again, I am at peace with my weaknesses. I take them to Jesus, agreeing with Him that if I just commune with Him and follow His lead, He will take care of the rest.
I'm sure this lesson will slip through my fingers again tomorrow.
But I will keep returning because, if there is one thing I know about ministry, it is that I always need Him.