Our leadership team sometimes reminds me that in ministry, “we are not running a sprint but a marathon”. In a marathon there are usually people at the starting line cheering you on and people at the finish line congratulating you for completing the race. Sometimes it can be a lonely place between the two lines, but running this race will require endurance.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us” (Hebrews 12:1 NLT).
We are called to serve forward with longevity. Many people we serve are for a moment, some for a season, and others for a lifetime. We may not always be in the same city, church, or have the same congregation, but we are to serve God for the long haul.
In fact, in a sprint you most likely will finish the race with those who started the race with you. In a marathon there are those that never finish the race, fell behind in the race, or finish before you do. There were people present when I started out in ministry that were of great encouragement, that now have already completed their race. Others of us are running side by side, not to compete but to complete the race together.
Navigating through your journey of ministry includes being able to put all of this in perspective. Here are seven things that the Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy and reminded us not to neglect:
• Do not neglect your family – I Timothy 3:4
• Do not neglect spiritual or physical discipline – I Timothy 4:8
• Do not neglect the gift that’s within you – I Timothy 4:14-16
• Do not neglect those in need – I Timothy 5:3,4
• Do not neglect the “elders” in your life – I Timothy 5:17
• Do not neglect the study of God’s Word – 2 Timothy 2:15
• Do not neglect your ministry – 2 Timothy 4:1-5
Pace yourself and run with patience. Run with others and run for others. Serve forward with longevity!
“I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Jesus Christ, is calling us” (Philippines 3:14 NLT)
Bishop Tim Lamb combines over 34 years of pastoral and church planting experience to lead LifePoint Ministries. Bishop Tim's unique prophetic insight, forward-thinking leadership, and compassion for people combine to make him an effective leader for our pastors and churches.