I have been reading a book lately that is speaking profoundly to my heart. I believe it should absolutely be required reading for anyone thinking of going into the ministry, but also by anyone aspiring to serve the Lord in any capacity. It is encouraging, convicting, insightful, and bathed in the power of 'been there, done that.' It's called Dangerous Calling by David Tripp and I want to encourage you to get a copy and pray over what he is saying. It will make a difference!
Here is a brief example from a chapter called "Mediocrity."
"If your heart is in functional awe of the glory of God, then there will be no place in your heart for poorly prepared, badly delivered, functional pastoral mediocrity. Permit me to explain. I think we should all be shocked at the level of mediocrity that we tolerate in the life and ministry of the local church. No, I’m not talking about giving people room to grow and mature and not crushing them with criticism in the process. I’m talking !about those places where our standards are simply too low, places where we could and should do much , much better. And I am convinced that if awe of God doesn't reign in our hearts, then that awe won’t shape our preparation for and delivery of the things that God has called us to do in ministry.
Mediocrity is not a time, personnel, resource, or location problem. Mediocrity is a heart problem. We have lost our commitment to the highest levels of excellence because we have lost our awe. Awe amnesia is the open door that admits mediocrity. Awe of God is fear-producing, inspiring, motivating, convicting, and commitment-producing. There is no replacement for this in the leadership of the church of Jesus Christ. Awe protects us from us by asking more of us than we would ever ask of ourselves. Awe reminds us that it is not about us and so keeps us from dropping our guard when it might be convenient to do so.
Awe reminds you that God is so glorious that it is impossible for you, as his ambassador, to have ministry standards that are too high. I’m not talking about lavish, expensively furnished buildings. No, I’m talking about a sturdy commitment to do everything you can to display the glory of his presence and grace as powerfully and clearly as you can each time his people are gathered. You are in such awe of, and have been so satisfied by, his grace yourself that you have a zeal to display that grace to those under your care , a zeal you can get no other way. You are never just doing your duty. You are never just cranking it out. You are never just going through the motions. You are never just putting on a front. You are worshiping your way through whatever you are doing at that moment as the ambassador of an expansively glorious King."
Tripp, Paul David (2012-10-31). Dangerous Calling: Confronting the Unique Challenges of Pastoral Ministry (pp. 141-142). Crossway. Kindle Edition.
Teacher, speaker, entrepreneur and follower of Christ; with a passion to be a catalyst for authentic community.