So You’re Different? Bless Someone with It!

I must say that I have always felt like a misfit in ministry. When I surrendered to the call to ministry, I had great aspirations. After I was exposed to the church growth movement, I was enamored with the mega churches and had high hopes that I would see great growth where I served. Pre-divorce, I was able to see that to a small degree. Post-divorce, not so much.

I must say that, post-divorce, I am thankful that the Lord still allows me to still have a part in His work. While I haven’t seen the great things I once saw, I came to discover that the nature of my ministry is much different. Do I see many saved? No. Am I able to brag about baptizing many or having tons of growth? Not hardly!

I have learned that it’s okay that I have nothing to brag about when it comes to my accomplishments. Truthfully, the content of my bragging is to be one thing and one thing only – the person of the Lord Jesus Christ! He is the only One who is worthy of such bragging!

In circles of bragging preachers, I don’t have to apologize for the ministry and calling of God on my life. I don’t have to apologize that He has called me to short-term ministries. Let me tell you what went through my mind when He began making it crystal clear a few months back.

Through my own personal encounters with God, I first sensed that I could not take my previous pastorate any further than I had taken it. At the time, I had been there around a year and a half. I knew I had to make sure before I did anything. Why would I leave a church that gave me great love and liberty? Why would I step away from my comfort zone? God confirmed it again as I was preparing a sermon I was to preach. I actually stopped the series in Acts I was preaching because that message was going to sound like my resignation. I needed more confirmation from God.

At the end of last year, I simply decided to pray. I asked God to prove He was calling me to interim ministry by opening a door without me sending a resume. He did it! Then came the tough task of sharing with the church leadership and the church as a whole. I knew some of the leadership would be critical, but they were not the ones who would have to answer to God for my disobedience.

At age 42, I’m over the fact that interim ministry is typically for people who are retired. I’m 26 years in, and I’m thankful to help churches through transition. This type of ministry isn’t so glamorous, but it’s needed. My calling is simply to do what Dr. Charles Stanley often said, “Obey God and leave the consequences to Him!”

You may be reading this, feeling like your life is a waste. Maybe things didn’t turn out the way you expected. You think you matter to no one, or maybe you think you have accomplished absolutely nothing. Eternity will reveal the fruit of your labor. You may never be known outside your little community. That’s okay! Brighten the corner where you are!

I’ll leave you with these song lyrics from the song “Brighten the Corner Where You Are” by Charles Gabriel:

Do not wait until some deed of greatness you may do
Do not wait to shed your light afar
To the many duties ever near you now be true
Brighten the corner where you are

Brighten the corner where you are
Brighten the corner where you are
Someone far from harbor you may guide across the bar
Brighten the corner where you are

Just above are clouded skies that you may help to clear
Let not narrow self your way debar
Though into one heart alone may fall your song of cheer
Brighten the corner where you are

Here for all your talent you may surely find a need
Here reflect the bright and Morning Star
Even from your humble hand the Bread of Life may feed
Brighten the corner where you are

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