Year Six

I’ve had the pleasure of being on staff at NewSpring Church for 6 years now. It’s easily the best job I’ve ever had. As a web developer, I get to use code to create sites and apps that help people get closer to Jesus and each other. I can’t imagine spending my life in pursuit of a greater calling than seeing Jesus change peoples lives and making Him famous … and I get to do that with code! So much fun!

I just wanted to take a moment this week to share a little of what I’ve learned in my six years in full-time ministry. I’ve learned so many things, but here are just a few things that stick out to me:

Churches aren’t perfect and neither are the people that work for them.

Just because you work for a church does not mean that you are above sinning. I think I used to think that people who worked for churches were somehow perfect. Then I started working at one. If nothing else, I ruined that streak. People who work for churches have the same struggles, cares, and problems as everyone else. We make bad decisions. We do things we shouldn’t do. We’re human and we make mistakes.

The flip side of this is that a lot of people tie your failures to the organization you work for. Over the years I’ve seen people fail inside our organization (whether it was public or not) and I’ve seen people inside and outside our organization take that failure and assume that the whole organization is somehow bad. People and their failures are not the organization but they are tied to the organization. Fair or not, that’s the way it is.

This whole ministry thing is not for the faint of heart.

If it wasn’t enough that we are imperfect creatures trying to serve a perfect God and messing it up all the time, there is also the idea that as Christians we are constantly at war with an enemy we can’t see. Spiritual warfare is real and those of us in ministry are on the front lines.

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

— Ephesians 6:12

Our enemy is real. Prowling around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Put on your armor, my friends.

So many wish they could see what we see.

We may be in a battle, but the rewards of being faithful and diligent in the battle are worth it. This verse has stuck with me from the very first day that I walked into a NewSpring building:

“For truly I tell you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.”

— Matthew 13:17

What we get to see week in and week out is astounding. Lives changed, sicknesses healed, marriages restored. All because of Jesus. I’ll never be able to forget what the Lord has blessed me to see.

It’s so easy to forget why we do what we do

You’d think that being surrounded by other people that love Jesus and constantly seeing how God is changing peoples lives that it would be easy to remember what the point of all of our work is. But just like any other vocation, it is surprisingly easy for all of your work to become tasks, to forget about the people that you’re doing all of this for, and for your calling to become just another job. It takes hard work to constantly remind yourself of the “why” behind the “what.”

Being in full-time ministry has been the most challenging and growing thing I have ever done. No matter how hard it gets there is never a day that I regret making the decision to follow Jesus on this journey. These six years have flown by. I can’t wait to see what happens next!