The call to being a ministry leader has many facets and “job descriptions,” but the primary one by far is to lead people into a deeper relationship with Jesus in every aspect of life, which includes spiritual disciplines.
We tend to polarize over the issue of spiritual disciplines. Some emphasize them as if they are what will get you into heaven, while others believe that we shouldn’t even suggest that someone is lacking in their relationship with Jesus because they haven’t done “x”. However, there’s a healthy balance in that we are saved by grace through faith in Jesus and then we are called to follow Him in faith as He leads us into right-living that reflect what He would desire for our lives.
To paraphrase what John Piper has said about fasting, by engaging in spiritual disciplines we are weakening the grip the world has on our hearts, and we are strengthening our desire for Jesus.
However, this isn’t meant to be a reminder that we need to engage in spiritual disciplines, but that we need to bring others with us. Most ministry leaders realize the benefits of spiritual disciplines, but many of us feel weird to encourage others to do the same. How ridiculous is this? If we benefit from obeying Jesus’ call to give, pray, fast, etc – shouldn’t we encourage others to do so?
Yesterday, our church encouraged everyone to fast and pray. This is something the leadership does often, and will continue to do – but why don’t we ask others to join us more often? We will all rise or sink to the expectations given to us, so why not encourage them to live life to the fullest that Jesus has told us to?
So as you, ministry leader, give, pray, fast, study, serve, and continue to surrender your life to Jesus, please do not loose the opportunity to bring someone else alongside. Let’s all ask ourselves:
Who will I pray with?
Who will I serve with?
Who will I fast with?
Who will I keep accountable to give, study, and generally give their lives to Jesus?
Have you found a specifically great way to bring others into a lifestyle of following Jesus together? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!