I enjoy contacts with our diverse SoulPreaching.Com readers. Sometimes I hear the deep booming baritone that no doubt is a great gift for preaching. Some readers have family connections. Some are imposing figures of 6″5 or higher which really looks powerful behind a pulpit. Yes some of you seem to have had gifts and opportunities that make it almost certain that at least an initial call from a decent situation would afford itself.
But then there are others. The ones who struggle with their senior pastor just to acknowledge their call. The ones who have very little ministerial opportunity due to gender, lack of connections, or whatever.
I have had many people contact me asking, how can I overcome these impediments for ministry. I hear you. You feel God calling you to preach and yet you wonder when God will open the door to a preaching assignment. You believe that you should be a Pastor and yet your senior pastor won’t even give you a recommendation for the entry level church that has just opened up.
You don’t preach fast, and that is what people are going for. You don’t whoop. You are short. You are female. You don’t know anybody. All of these things I have heard from you. Here is my answer…
1) Recognize that there Are successful preachers just like you.
What is your issue? There are other great preachers with the same one. You say that women don’t have the opportunities that men have. That is true, but look at the great women preachers and realize that God can make a way. You have a high pitched tenor voice…look around…look at others who have turned what might be a drawback into a valuable feature….You are short and fat, as wide as you are tall….I hear you
You ain’t connected…I beg to differ, your daddy owns the cattle on a thousand hills. (Psalm 50:10). Everything that is against you was against someone else. You just go head on and watch God do what God will do.
2) Remember The Job Is Ministry.
If you are trying to get to the front of the line, my brother told me that the line to truly help people is always a short one. If you keep ministry as your focus you will always have people to help somebody. You will always have things to do. You will always have a job that God wants you in. Stop looking for the big job, look for the opportunity to help. And there you will find God’s work for you.
3) Start where you are.
Every great undertaking started “in the beginning.” SoulPreaching.Com started with only myself writing about preaching to the winds hoping that someone else would read. The rebuilding of the temple started with the first bricks being placed on the other bricks.
Don’t look to be great, look to be faithful and obedient. Stand up and start right where you are. Watch God turn that ministry that no one wanted into the centerpiece of what God is doing. Stand up and turn that preaching engagement at the downtown mission into the spot that everyone wants. Stand up and turn that soup kitchen into a great model of ministry. tand up right where you are and do it, whatever that it is.
4) Be Willing To Follow God’s Direction
Yes, follow God. I know, you can’t see the future. Well God can. I know they told you no, well look for God’s yes. I know that they are telling you that the door is closed. Perhaps it was closed to them, but you go head on and try the door yourself.
To all my readers, I write this simply to say, hold on. Don’t give up. I know it gets difficult sometimes, but know that there is a place for your God given ministry. Maybe it isn’t the big high steeple urban church. Maybe it isn’t the high profile ministry that everyone wants, but it is a place where your gifts will be used. In the final analysis, where else would you want to be but where your gifts will be used?
Go head on and Keep on Preaching…God will use you…and you will be ready!
9 thoughts on “God Has A Plan For Your Ministry”
This writing really ministered to me. I have been in preaching ministry for over 20 years and I had pastored for a few years in the intermin. But as of late I am in this dry place where no ministry is. This let me know that I’m not alone.
Bless you my brother, I needed this word of encouragement this day!
Your article certainly encouraged me Rev. Cox. I am now 78 years old, ordained a pastor 5 years ago, after graduating from a seminary school after 4 years of study, after retiring from secular at age 70. Truly, if one does what is pleasing to God, God equips him or her. I am doing maybe 80% of full time ministry because of some physical limitations but it is true that simply doing what I think I cannot do, God helps me to do it for His glory.
Reverent Cox,Holy Greeting in Jesus name this article realy encourages me ,my wife and i have deen pastoring for four years now,and its like planting corn in the desert place but I know He will come through for us the rain will come, the former and the latter bless GOD.Your site has deen a tower of strength to us as we glean from many of comments and suggestion, thank you.
This article was right on time! Thank you for the inspiration to look for opportunities to help!
My esteemed Brother, I only recently joined your email list, and just as the rest of your videos and articles this one is right on target. You are an encouragment to many of us in ministry and I thank God for gifting and giving you this ministry. Continued blessings, Anderson.
Amen brother. I don’t whoop. I am overly analytical. I talk about stuff like politics, sex, economics, biblical criticism, etc., you know, the stuff that “has nothing to do with the Bible and Jesus.” But I keep plugging away, frustrated, yes, but convinced I am doing God’s work. That’s what matters. And every now and then, God will send somebody with an encouraging word!
Thank you for this word of encouragemment. I have been feeling that I am on the outside looking in at my church but you have just encouraged me in more ways that on God knows. I am ready to continue to do the Will of HIM who called me and sent me.
To quote a friend of mine, your words were “on time, if not early.” I have been preaching for 33 years. I do not whoop. I use a full content outline in the pulpit. Both were frowned upon when and where I began preaching. Over time, I was led to ministries where both of those approaches were appreciated and my preaching ministry was affirmed. This also occurred over time at the church where I began preaching. Phillips Brooks defines preaching as the message of God through the personality of a man (or woman). People must come to accept what God is doing through you. They will, but it may take some time. Or it may take a change of venue.
During my ministry I have been in both full-time and bivocational ministry, served in both the local church and the parachurch, have been a chaplain and a pastor, a student and an adjunct professor, worked in human service and public service, been employed and unemployed, experienced great frustration and great affirmation, had spiritually dry times and spiritually rich times. But the whole time I have fortunately been able to “keep on preaching.”
The idea of just being available and looking to help people is extremely significant. I have had numerous counseling sessions in the church parking lot after morning or evening service, after bible study or choir rehearsal. The same has happened over the phone or at breakfast or lunch meetings or just having coffee with someone. The call to preach is not limited to a crowd during a worship service from a pulpit.
I can truly say that (for me) the preaching ministry, like the Christian life, is not a sprint. It is a long distance run. It is a marathon that requires endurance. It is a journey that may have many stops along the way. E. M. Bounds once said that it takes 20 years to make a sermon because it takes 20 years to make the man (or woman). God is continuing to make me the man and thus the preacher he wants me to be. God continues to hone his message given through me. And God has a lot of work to do on both counts.
We may end up where we do not expect to be, but we will end up where God wants us and can use us. I serve as an associate at my current home church. But for the past decade, I have been preaching regularly as a part of the preaching teams at the English Ministries of two Chinese churches. In fact, that is where most of my preaching has been. I also work in a public service job where I use my pastoral skills. Go figure! Who knew? I didn’t! But God did!
You are right, Brother Cox, God has a plan for our ministry–His plan. Though the stops on the journey may be unexpected, they can be ministerially rich. We have to stay with it, keep at it, keep listening to Him, keep following Him, and keep on preaching!