One of the problems I have faced in ministry is when I have gotten to a point that I thought things really did depend on me. That is such an unhealthy place to operate because viewing ministry like that takes God out of the center and replaces it with self. Usually that replacement is not an intentional action but it still happens. Looking back on various ministries I have been a part of I can put my finger on a couple of instances where I really felt that if I wasn’t doing the ministry that it would fall to pieces. You get to a point that you feel like things just can’t go on without you or that things wouldn’t be as good if someone else took them on or that things would just fall apart without your leadership. But that just isn’t the case.
When I look back on ministries that I did have to leave behind I find situations that improved. God was at work doing things I wasn’t aware of. God put the right people in place, pulled things together and made ministries that were even healthier than when I was a part of them. It is a good reminder that in all that we do we remember God is the one who really makes things work. We are just instruments and we have to be humble.
The reality is, every single one of us will be replaced at some point in time. One hundred years from now things will be different with different names and faces and talents and ministries. We have to trust that God can and will work things out. When we start thinking and ministering from a mindset that it all depends on us we need to remember that it all depends on God and that we need to humble ourselves and minister out of a spirit and attitude of total dependence on God.
The man Jesus called the greatest man born of a woman said this about his ministry, “He must become greater; I must become less.” (John 3:30). There is much to be learned from that attitude that will allow God to use us even more in his service.