An ownership mentality in ministry is a dangerous thing. Sorry to say but there’s no equity in the Kingdom of God…at least not in this life, and definitely not for you and me. Part of the purpose of this blog is my own accountability…to write things and share them publicly so that I’m more likely to live them out privately. As I prepare to partner in the leadership of the launch of City Community Church, I want to go on record now as saying: the vision may have been co-birthed inside of me, but by no means does it belong to me.
It’s a subtle shift of mindset, yet polar opposite at the same time. One is selfish, the other selfless. When I begin to act as if I own my ministry, my church, my leadership, my position, I begin to try and preserve what I have. It changes the way I teach, the way I treat people, the boundaries I’m willing to push for effectiveness…even my willingness to step away if and when I need to. Ownership causes me to pull in instead of push out. To guard instead of release. To be fear-filled and paranoid instead of faith-filled and courageous. To play it safe and not to risk.
Ministry is not a career choice, it’s a stewardship. So my challenge to all of us, whether you’re the full-time pastor of a large church, or the volunteer leader of a soup kitchen…hold it loosely. It’s not yours. Now I know you’d never say you have an unhealthy hold on it, but check your heart…check the subtlety of your thinking. It creeps in unexpected.
Hold onto things loosely enough that whenever God speaks, there’s no hesitation in responding. Don’t make Him pry it out of your cold, dead fingers.