We are people of substance
In 2020 people suffered. Our people suffered, because of corruption and greed. The voices of righteous leaders were too faint.
However, we are called to be God’s people in this world. We worship God as all-powerful, wise and omnipotent Lord of all. We are called to care for His people in these hard times.
To be ministers in God’s Kingdom requires us to be people of substance. This means we have to have characters of Kingdom quality. Our outward manifestations and inner convictions have to reflect God’s grace. We have to be ready to change inwardly before we can expect any change in the lives of the people we minister to.
People in ministry suffered too much in the past year. Many gave to others until they had nothing left. Others questioned their faith and the meaning of life. For others, compassion fatigue sneaked up to the extent that they felt as though they are drowning.
Can you go into 2021 challenging yourself to ask yourself: What kind of person do I want to be? This question will enable you to look at ways to continuously discovering yourself.
As you already acknowledge God’s calling on your life, you are a person of substance. This means as a person of substance you add value to the world in the name of Jesus Christ. You create something, whether it is a material item, a thought, a message, a song or an emotion. You work hard and accomplish so much. You are a thinker, or you are a doer. You are authentic, genuine. You are the real deal because you are a prayer warrior.
Did you know other people are drawn to people of substance? People of substance with a God-given calling in their hearts are interesting because they add something to life. They bring the message of hope, forgiveness and wholeness. This is what you bring to other people’s lives.
How to continue to be a person of substance in the Kingdom of God in this time? Here are a few suggestions:
- Ask questions. Be curious and be hungry for knowledge. Knowledge about God and the wonders of His creation.
- Work diligently. People of substance are not afraid to roll up their sleeves to help to get things done. Their work ethic is above reproach.
- Guard against procrastination. Make something. Be creative. You are limited only by your imagination. Don't worry about whether it's any good. Just make it and keep making things.
- Challenge others. Be an encourager. Get people (including yourself) out of their comfort zone. Push boundaries and join in their efforts.
- Embrace nuance and uncertainty. Acknowledge that virtually everything in life is full of complications. People of substance can see the other side of every argument.
- Read. People of substance are constantly consuming the written word. The Word of God enlightens their minds and brightens their souls. They value books like they value air, food and water. Remember that no book should replace the time you spend reading your Bible.
- Be present. Put down your smartphone and tablet. Be present with people, especially at meetings, meals, or other times with your friends, kids, significant others.
- Pick a passion outside your daily work and support it. Be a well-rounded person who makes your community a better place.
- Helping others is good for you in numerous ways. When other people see you helping out, they are also motivated to help and it creates a positive atmosphere of well-being.
- Be faithful. Go the distance. Don't cut corners. People of substance want to see things through to the end and not take any shortcuts. The value of an experience is in the journey, not the destination. Life is about experiencing the moment in its fullest, in good moments and bad. That is how you learn, that is how you grow, and that is how you become the best you you can be.
As a Christian Minister, you don’t have to be successful in worldly terms. As a person of substance, you have not arrived at your destination yet. You don't have to be good or great or awesome. You just have to have the desire to serve God, grow and add something of value to the world.
When the Song of the Angels Is Stilled
When the song of the angels is stilled,
When the star in the sky is gone,
When the kings and the princes are home,
When the shepherds are back with their flocks,
The work of Christmas begins:
To find the lost,
To heal the broken,
To feed the hungry,
To release the prisoner,
To rebuild the nations,
To bring peace among people,
To make music in the heart.
- Howard Thurman (www.poemhunter.com Accessed 2020)
The team at the Association for Christian Ministers wish you a wisdom-filled 2021.
May the peace of God fill your heart and mind.