And say to Archippus, “Be sure to carry out the ministry the Lord gave you.” Colossians 4:17 NLT
In April we conducted our 85th Network Conference, which we now call Network Summit. It was my honor to confirm 30 new Assemblies of God certified and licensed to preach candidates and formally acknowledge 17 new ordination recipients. Our total 2022 Credential Class was 47, which represents one of the largest credential classes in our 85-year history.
During the gathering, I spoke about Staying Strong in Ministry, based on the words of Paul found in Colossians 4. It is here that the Apostle Paul admonishes a young minister by the name of Archippus to carry out the ministry the Lord gave you. Archippus was the son of Philemon and Apphia, close friends of Paul. Many agree that Archippus was the pastor of a church plant in Laodicea about 12 miles from Colossae.
Ministry is demanding and draining. How can you stay strong in ministry? How can you stay the course and not give up?
Here are 4 Recommendations for Staying Strong in Ministry:
- Stay Humble
"Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor (James 4:10 NLT)." Humbleness is not weakness, but rather strength. Humility will give room for God to receive the glory and for a person to avoid stupid decisions and sinful actions. It is remembering, "I need God's help." "So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor (1 Peter 5:6)."
- Stay Holy
"But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy (1 Peter 1:16)." "Holiness is more than religious rules, but rather a right relationship with Jesus Christ. It is loving Jesus, listening to Jesus, and living like Jesus. God’s will is for you to be holy… (1 Thessalonians 4:3 NLT)."
- Stay Hopeful
"Don't envy sinners, but always continue to fear the Lord. You will be rewarded for this; your hope will not be disappointed (Proverbs 23:17-18)." The world operates in doom and gloom. The Gospel operates with hope and assurance. We are called to look at life with the confidence that God is in control and ultimately will turn our night moments into day, our tests into testimonies. "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 15:13)."
- Stay Hungry
"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled (Matthew 5:6)." The only way you can remain strong is to remain spiritually hungry. Make this a lifestyle. Hunger after God, seek after God, and chase after God for the rest of your life and the results will amaze you. "I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears (Psalm 34:4)."
I wonder what God has for us all in the next season. One thing is for sure, as we grow older we are able to grow stronger in the Lord and in ministry.
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.Ephesians 6:10