Originally Posted by Mike Young June 2006
I attended the Promise Keepers Rally in Raleigh this past weekend. On Saturday morning, Joseph Garlington issued two challenges. The first was to write down our ministry dream. He wanted us to consider what God had made us for and called us to do in His Kingdom.
He said that God is getting us ready for what he already has ready for us.
I could easily answer that challenge. Honestly, I’m living my ministry dream. I truly believe that God made me to minister to men. I am confident that my life experiences, successes, failures, skills, abilities, gifts and talents were all part of His plan for me. I believe that God had this ministry set aside with my name on it, long before I submitted to His will. I also believe that any other path to this point would not have prepared me as well.
At various points in my life I have wanted to be a medical doctor, a high-school principal, a school superintendent or a successful business man. I came really close to several of those goals but thankfully God steered me where He wanted me to go. Proverbs 19:21 says, many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails. Ultimately, He made the choice for ministry irresistible to me and to Stacy.
The second challenge was to write down the fears that keep us from pursuing that dream. As I noted above, right now, I feel like I’m living my ministry dream through Noble Warriors. But, even though I’m living the dream, there are still fears.
All my fears started with the letter F. Here’s the list…
Men love to win. We hate to fail. Honestly, many of us are so afraid of failing that we never attempt anything. Every venture could succeed or fail. So far Noble Warriors seems to be succeeding in the mission of challenging men to walk closer to Christ. However, I don’t want to forget that I, and other concerned individuals, must constantly seek God’s wisdom and guidance to carry out this mission. When I take matters into my own fallible, human hands and leave God out, failure will be just around the corner.
I don’t know about you but I’ve observed a number of ministries in my life that started with a great idea, a dynamic leader and a well-organized plan. But, even with all that going for them, they never produce any fruit. I don’t want Noble Warriors to fall into that trap. The only solution is to stay connected to the Vine.
I remember my high school coach holding a football in the air, making this comment: “Gentlemen, this is a football, better to have died a small child than to have fumbled this.” Can you relate to his exaggerated statement? We all want to avoid the embarrassment and frustration of mishandling an important opportunity. Many of us are too timid to speak up for fear of not knowing exactly what to say or how to say it. I don’t want to fumble this opportunity.
I’m a human being, just like you. I’m subject to temptation on many levels, just like you. And I know that because God has called me forward to lead men to Him, Satan is targeting me. If I fail morally, the impact could have a ripple effect on other men. I’m not immune to any temptation and so I have to guard my eyes, ears, heart and witness. I need to stay close to God through His Word and prayer. I also must be accountable to some other Christian men who have authority to call me out if they see me slipping.
I get so excited about the work I see God doing that I rarely settle down and think about the financial implications of our commitment. My wife, on the other hand, gets a bit more concerned about our family’s well-being. We agree that God is using Noble Warriors; it was His idea, not ours. He gave us resources to get the ministry started and has blessed us and others through it. He will continue to bless this work if it is His desire.
So, you know my ministry dream and my fears. I’m exposed.
Do you have a ministry dream and similar fears? Ministry doesn’t have to be full time. You just have to be ready and obedient. I’ve talked to many men in the last year who say, “I think God wants me to do something…but I can’t right now because of….” Does that resonate with you?
Pray for courage to respond to that call.
Other men will likely go with you or follow you. You could start a movement in your church or community! Be courageous!