Glamorizing Ministry

I often glamorize the life of a female speaker and Bible teacher. I’ve found myself enamored with their life, from the outside looking in, it just seems like the best combination. You mean your job is to read, study the Scriptures, and encourage women? What a great deal.

However, the reality is that this road Laura and I (God’s Enough – Women’s Ministry) are on is much more sticky. We see powerful speakers in household names like the Beth Moores, Lysa TerKeursts, and Priscilla Shirers of this world. We see the glamour of thousands of people clamoring to hear them speak. We don’t see the closed door conversations, we don’t see the grimace of those in the audience, we don’t see their email inbox.

When Laura and I took the plunge this past January, when we made the decision to push forward with God’s Enough, one of the first things I told her was, “Laura, this scares me.”

Laura’s response, “Me too. At least we’ll be scared together.”

As I study scripture, I see that effective ministry was done in two’s. Moses and Aaron of the Old Testament, Paul and Timothy of the New Testament, just to name a couple. Even during Jesus’s ministry, He sent out his disciples in groups of two (Mark 6:7). There must be a reason for this, then I remembered Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 (NIV).

Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their labor:
If either of them falls down,
one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls
and has no one to help them up.
Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
But how can one keep warm alone?
Though one may be overpowered,
two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

The repetition of ministry duo’s in the Bible is not just a suggestion, it’s encouraged and highly recommended. Churches today have adopted that mentality when hiring ministry staff. In fact, when Laura was interviewed for her Ministerial Credentials, they also interviewed her husband, Ted. (Side note: I’m hoping to test and interview for my credentials in 2019 in which case both me and my husband, Ben, will be interviewed.) When stepping into a ministry position, churches oftentimes look for a person in a strong marriage relationship. Why? Because ministry is rough. It can be demanding and draining, and it never turns off. A ministry worker must have a strong support system in place to face the storms of ministry. This is why Ecclesiastes, a book of Solomon’s wisdom, reveals that two are better than one. In the seven months of God’s Enough, Laura and I have seen the power of two vision-oriented women working together towards a common goal. Up front, Laura and I know that not everything we do is 50/50. I take the lead on somethings and she takes the lead on others. We also recognize that life happens and will continue to happen. As a team we encourage one another, put pressure on one another, and grow together in this ministry.

A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

Oftentimes, we see this verse in the context of a marriage relationship. The husband and wife and God equal the three stands. Similarly, both Laura and I are each in solid marriage relationships. Essentially God’s Enough is a five-cord strand and will not be quickly broken by this world. We have a solid support system in each other and in our husbands, all of whom have personal, ongoing relationships with Christ.

However, something bugs me. This thing we’re doing is not uncommon. While we would love to be the only ones paving the way for speaking and writing women’s ministry, we’re not. We follow a long line of trailblazing women who have set the pace. In addition, we have lots of peers seeking to do exactly what we are doing.

As Laura saw one evening during a game night with our husbands, I have a competitive nature. I want to win. You’ll see in my previous blog post, when I put my mind to something I want to be the best. But the tricky part of being a competitive woman is that my sinfulness and selfishness creep in. This can make ministry messy. To be honest, over the course of the last seven months, I have battled my own selfish desire.

I’ve been listening to a podcast recently and just became head over heels for it. But in one of the episodes she shared her story. I learned that she went from blogging and making little videos on Facebook to getting hundreds of millions of views within an eight-month time frame.

I immediately found myself so jealous of her. She’s only a year older than me and yet she came about so much success in such a short time frame.

Ben knew I was stewing on something, so he asked what was on my mind. I shared how I was battling this jealousy I had of this woman’s success. I immediately felt the conviction of my jealousy, I knew it was ungodly to be feeling this way. And yet, I still wrestled with the human fleshly side that wanted name recognition, success, and praise. While processing this jealousy out loud with Ben, the Holy Spirit revealed to me that this was a heart issue. If my desire for God’s Enough – Women’s Ministry is name recognition, fame, and success, then it’s not a ministry. I’ll be doing it for my own glory, not to accomplish the work of God’s Kingdom. If I, half of God’s Enough, crave name recognition, or people clamoring to hear me speak, or financial success, this ministry really won’t go anywhere. (Then Ben frankly told me I needed to include this in my next blog post, so here I am.)

Because I’ve glamorized the life of a writer and speaker, I found myself craving worldly success. I didn’t realize this was bubbling in my heart until my reaction to this podcast brought it to the surface.

So, here’s my prayer.

Lord,

A battle rages between my selfish, sinful nature and my desire to genuinely reconcile women to you. Please, mold my heart to fit your righteous will. Remove this desire for fame and success from my heart. Make Laura sensitive to the Spirit when I battle this fame, so she may speak to me in loving truth (and vice a versa). I pray over Ted and Ben, that you also make them sensitive to the Spirit as they walk alongside us in this ministry. Lord, I relinquish my right to success. God’s Enough – Women’s Ministry has nothing to do with Laura and Megan, we are simply vessels, mouthpieces. This ministry is about shedding our selfish rights and stepping into much more responsibility, Christ-like responsibility. Teach me to be an effective, humble minister for your Kingdom. You’ve given both Laura and I unique testimonies and you’ve brought Laura and I together. You’ve guided us these last seven months as God’s Enough has taken shape. Our right is not to land a book deal with a big Christian Publishing company and our right is not to have thousands listen to us speak. Our responsibility is to put in the hard work of ministry as we remain connected to Christ, the vine (John 15: 4-5). Our responsibility is to ensure our heart is in the right place. Our responsibility is to push the notion of “being discovered” out of our heads and focus on the community we’ve been placed in. Lord, we are yours to use. Keep us in your loving care, keep us humble, and teach us to be responsible.

Amen.

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4 thoughts on “Glamorizing Ministry

  1. Robin Johnson

    Awesome comments… love your willingness to be vulnerable. While I was reading, I was thinking of the song. “Steal my Show” 😀

    Like

  2. Scott

    I appreciated your heartfelt and humble and honest prayer. Ministry can be rewarding but it’s also about taking up your cross and following Him which is never easy.

    Like

  3. Pingback: Thinking of Myself Less – Hungry for Authenticity | Megan Johnson

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