Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Challenges and Rewards of Ministry

As the Director of the International Christian Brotherhood, founded by Rev. AR Bernard, I have the privilege of serving many brothers.  We are a Christian fraternal organization whose purpose is to train men in Christ-likeness as the standard of manhood.  

I had a good time answering their questions about work-life balance, ministry to men and more.  I decided to share the Q&A with you.  Hope you enjoy.


Mi familia/My family
To quote Pastor Bernard, the work is going to be there in the morning. I review my values regularly and strive to design a life to express those values. I know my callings and my purpose. I’m privileged to do what I LOVE to do. BUT I don’t get it twisted. My first calling is to be a man. Ministry doesn’t define me. My relationship with the Father does. Second to my call to be a man, is my calling to be a husband and father. Elder Pointer said to my wife and I on our wedding day that, “your anointing for ministry flows from your anointing in the home.” We are called to be stewards of our time, talent and treasure. Time is our most precious commodity. Pastor set the example when he said he schedules his family time.

Balance is the key to life
In addition, we have to observe the principle of the Sabbath and have a day or set time of intentional rest. This is not the same as sleep! I’m talking about enjoyment, recreation, worship, etc. You will find me straight chillin’ on my Sabbath with the kids playing the Wii, movie with wifey or a good book. Rest in Christ fuels godly creativity. It shows that we trust God to open doors, provide favor, close the deal, finish the project, etc. We also demonstrate our freedom in Christ this way; free from the addiction to work, free from a messianic complex and free from relying on our own strength.

There are times when ministry seems to demand a straight seven days but I am checking in with Jesus and planning my Sabbath. Success anywhere never makes up for failure at home. And you can only run on empty but for so long before you crash and burn. You ever get stranded in your car because you failed to refuel? It is embarrassing and dangerous to have your car clunk on you while on the highway. Do the maintenance. Refuel. Rest in Christ.


Men’s ministry is very rewarding! It is a privilege to be the director over such a unique process of discipleship that centers on a genuine commitment to Christ and to being our brother’s keeper. I have the privilege of ministering to Kings & Priests who represent Christ in the marketplace! Not only that, but I’ve developed genuine brotherhood that has impacted me as a husband, father and teacher. I wouldn’t be where I am without Varise, Guy, Patrick and so many others! And then to see God raise up leaders like Rodney, Rocky and Mischa is simply awesome! I can really go on; I love ICB and I’m ICB for life!

That said the greatest frustration has been with several kinds of men who always seem to show up. The worst kind is the man who willingly sows discord, gossip and plain old hatin’! They don’t even see the evil that they do to Christ and the body. The second problem guy is the one who shows up with a business card. Argh! Seriously, what part of the word “leech” don’t they understand? Then there is the brother who decides to join ICB but doesn’t genuinely submit to the process and to doing the hard work of getting along. You never learn about him because he is either withdrawn or covered up in super-spiritual mumbo jumbo.

To be very honest, saddest of all, are the men who don’t take up the mantle to train men. There are men right now who finished the curriculum, stopped the prayer chords and only show up to special events. There is so much to do but they’ve seemingly retreated into their own dimensions. It is so easy to sink back into complacency and “religious works” and playin’ church. That is not God’s call on our lives.

Vision is the key
But as Pastor Bernard taught us, "A man with no vision for his future will always return to his past."

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