A Ministry Trap

I recently heard a pastor-teacher say, “We can get so wrapped up in what God is doing through us that we neglect what God needs to do in us.”

So true. Guilty as charged.

Pastorally speaking, it is easy to become enamored with all the things God does through us: lead some people to faith, help other people cope with grief, challenge still others to deeper discipleship, and create space where faith-centered relationships can flourish. That kind of work is energizing, exciting, and, yes, exhausting.

But the work of ministry can make pastors (me!) neglect the work God yearns to do in us. Is God making me more faithful? Am I allowing him to grow compassion in me? Is he purifying my thoughts? Making holy my motives? Or . . . ouch . . . is he making me more loving?

In short, am I smoking what I’m selling?

I don’t want to go through the motions. I don’t want to be effective but empty.

Father, do in me what desperately needs to be done.