Dear Fellow Ministers,
In recent weeks, I have felt the need to write a special letter to you.
Speaking at a convention on Monday night and in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, and spending time with other ministers recently has reminded me of how much ministers need encouragement. Also, hanging out with some of our Cross Church School of Ministry residents has reminded me of some basic things it is important for all ministers to practice from the beginning of our ministry.
Therefore, from my heart to your heart, I share these things with you. May they bring encouragement and remind us we are all in this ministry life together.
1. Jesus first
Put Jesus first in your day. Start your day early with God and if early is not your deal, at least start your day with God first. Yes, first things first. If we do not begin our day with Jesus, then we forfeit the privilege to lead His people. Please begin your day with God; otherwise, defeat in life and ministry will become normal for you. Minister of the Gospel, remember this: Deepen your walk and God will expand your influence.
Renew your belief in the power of God. The same God that saves you by grace through being born again by His supernatural power is the same God alive today in your ministry and life. Embrace the power of God! He can do anything, any time, anywhere, with anyone. He can do this with you and through your church. Refuse to dissect what He can and cannot do. Receive what He is able to do with you and through you. Begin to teach and preach about the power of God to your church. They need to begin to believe again.
Bring prayer back into the worship services of your church. Get beyond the “bless me” prayers and into calling out to the God of heaven to manifest His presence to the people of God. Weekly, call out to God before your people. Pray for the sick. Pray for the hurting. Your entire church needs to hear you pray with both confidence and conviction. At times, move your people to pray together in groups around the room. At other times, call them to their knees in humility. Pray for revival to come to the people of God and for the next Great Awakening to occur in America. Prayer always precedes great works of God.
Prioritize evangelism in the life of your church. Refuse to succumb to persuasions and practices that do not aggressively reach others for Christ. Celebrate the reaching of the lost and the baptizing of new followers of Christ. Discover places in your community where the Gospel has never been shared and resolve to take the Gospel there. Study the demographics of your city. Strategize how to win your city to Jesus Christ. Then, do not cease evangelizing.
Call your people to support God’s work financially. Do not minimize it. This is not simply about the church being blessed, but it is incumbent on you as a pastor to raise up and develop people to practice financial stewardship.
Unashamedly, model and teach God’s people about giving the first 10 percent of their entire income to their local church. Call them to give beyond this and challenge them to live life in the lane of generosity. Then, as a church, give sacrificially and generously to advance the Gospel across the world exponentially by planting Gospel churches and supporting missionaries.
Stand upon the Word of God courageously. Our biblical Christian worldview is in constant conflict with the culture. Do not cower down to our culture nor cuddle with it. Stand strongly and courageously upon the Word of God. Always communicate God’s Word in Jesus’ love. Stand strong.
Value each person in the world. Give respect to every person in the world. Stop letting things divide you with the people of God and with fellow ministers. We are family! Stand for the dignity of each person and for the sanctity of life. Reject racism in any form. Renounce abortion in every way. Stand for the dignity and the sanctity of human life from the womb all the way to the tomb.
Learn from criticism. It will come. Count on it. Determine to outlive it. Refuse to become bitter toward any person who is critical of you. Do not let anyone outside of your circle of love.
Lead cross-generationally. Do not be influential with just your generation; develop relationships with the generation before you and the generation behind you. Otherwise, your leadership will be limited and any potential legacy you may have will become short-lived. Invest in all generations. This is biblical. Give respect and love to all generations. We are family.
Be humble. When you are humble, God will raise you up. The way up is down. When you humble yourself before God, you can more easily humble yourself before others. God is not attracted to pride, but He is to humility. He lifts up those who are humble before Him.
Fellow minister, thank you for living for Jesus and standing upon His Word. Fulfill the calling God has given to you. Please know I am with you in this battle and praying for you daily.
Ronnie Floyd is senior pastor of Cross Church in northwest Arkansas, immediate past president of the Southern Baptist Convention and founder of the Cross Church School of Ministry. This article first appeared on his blog at ronniefloyd.com.