About a year ago, God began stirring in my heart a desire to go into ministry “full-time”. It feels silly to say it that way because I firmly believe all careers are a believer’s ministry but I knew God was calling me specifically to vocational ministry. I had ample time to prepare for this transition, however I am not sure anything could prepare me for what 2018 in ministry has looked like. Interning for the Next Generation has been the most stretching, challenging and rewarding work experience I have ever had. I guess I could sum up what I have learned so far through Micah 6:8, “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God”.
As an intern, I am given trust daily to make decisions for the Next Generation ministries. Decisions hold a lot of weight to me and I truly believe that each decision should be approached in prayer. I am not always diligent in this, but when a decision is produced through prayer, the Spirit is there. The greatest comfort of all in walking this life with God is the knowledge that as we are connecting daily with the Holy Spirit, we can be confident in our decisions to be carried out justly and gracefully. Not in our own power, but being led by His power. So, as I lean into that truth, I find peace and rest as I am challenged to make decisions big and small.
Ministry gets busy, the days fly by and I heard it put once “sometimes you feel like you are always just working for Sunday”. It can be so easy to get lost in the tasks. But the priority of every encounter and every thought should be kindness, compassion and empathy. This is what I have learned, people and relationships come first. I love God and because I love God I desperately love and ache for His people. So, in what sometimes feels like a whirlwind of a week, I want my actions and words to speak mercy. This is another discipline that is constantly being pruned through prayer and time with God.
Pride breeds unrest and in turn gives Satan leverage to steal your joy. Humility is understanding that without God, we are nothing. This has been a crucial discipline to practice during my internship season. On my unrestful days, I find myself trying to manage everything on my own and then being brought to my knees and looking up at the face of Jesus lovingly waiting for me to give it all to Him. We have a loving God who since the beginning of time has desired us to have a posture of peaceful rest. He gives us the tools we need to do the work that He calls us to and then He simply asks in return for us to rest in Him. Acting in any other way is simply pride. However, in order to walk humbly, we must remain every moment in the One who is humility. Jesus.
So, what have I learned in the first six months of my internship? I need Jesus. A lot. I need Him to lead me in how I lead and make decisions. I need Him to center my heart daily on loving His people relentlessly and recklessly just as He continues to love us. Lastly, I need to live in humility. As Andrew Murray writes in his book Humility, “Humility is simply acknowledging the truth of our position as creature and yielding to God His place.”
Dear Jesus, thank you for the never-ending connection we have with you to draw strength, direction, kindness and humility from. Help us to walk in the peace that you are the God who is working all things together for your glory and our good and we only need to be still and listen. Thank you for all that you are and all that we aren’t. Let us walk boldly in the power we have through the Holy Spirit to love and serve your people. In your holy name, amen.