I will be the first to tell you that I am not an expert in ministry. I do things, and try to figure out what can work (mostly by finding out what doesn’t from trying it)
The words I am about to write, I write in encouragement and love to strengthen those working alongside me to make a difference in the community around them by living out what we believe that the Bible teaches us.
Get a mentor in ministry. If you are a pastor, or staff member, get a mentor. If you are serving as a volunteer in ministry, get a mentor. I am not talking paying big bucks to a coaching group (it is an option, if you choose). I am talking about finding someone in your circle or community that can teach you about ministry from the perspective of having been there and tried that. Someone that you can share joys and defeats with. Someone that can watch you grow in your ministry efforts over a period of years. It does not have to be formal.
This arrangement came pretty natural to me over the years. I like to connect to and meet people in my community. As God moved me to different communities over the years, He placed in most of those small towns a guy that had been in ministry in one form or another for many years there to help guide me. I am eternally grateful for their willingness to feel the spirit’s guiding to take on someone like me as a friend and co-laborer in the Gospel.
I have had a few of these men that I call not just a friend, but a mentor. I have had different relationships with each as they have allowed themselves to be used by God to help guide me through different chapters of serving Him.
However, there is one hard part to these relationships. The fact that at some point, God says that their race is completed, they have finished, and it’s time to come home. A couple weeks ago that happened for not just one of those men I would call a mentor, but two, within 48 hours. Two different communities in two different time zones both lost great men of faith that served their communities for many years. Two different families lost fathers, husbands, and grandfathers. In both communities, there are many that can point to these men and simply state “they lived Christ to me in their actions”.
I pray that at some point later I will be used by God in a similar way.
In the meantime, I can encourage you to do what I have, and seek out those who have served, and allow them to pour into you, so that your service may be strengthened. If you don’t, you just might be doing it wrong.