The Lenhart Family

Monday, October 29, 2012

Where else do you get court side seats to see lives changed?!?!?!

I know I've said it a hundred times but after investing decades into youth ministry... It make my heart burst to see former students live their faith out loud in adult life!! Right now several of them are training to be missionaries, some are at bible college training to into vocational ministry. One of previous young ladies is a senior literally counting down the days until MCC's move in day. She is oozing excitement about the next chapter in life!!

What started out as an Instagram comment on a picture of her standing behind a pulpit... Turned into this blog post because the last thing I am is brief and to the point when it comes to writing. Who knew that there were word limits on the comment posts?!

So here is my advice to her, to other soon to be bible school grads about to begin their careers, or even those currently in vocational ministry but in a funk! This is my Instagram completely unsolicited advice column/ post: 

1. It's not "my" pulpit, your pulpit, or anyone else's but God's. God loves his beautiful bride the church, regardless of who is the pastor, elders, etc... God's the head, foundation and the center of the church and everything in it.

2. If He gifts and chooses you to share the word, understand the immerse privilege and responsibility of that always. Don't take it lightly, you may he the only 'Jesus' some will ever hear or see. 

3. Those in full time ministry have great influence. That puts a huge bulls eye target on your back. The enemy wants YOU because if he get you to stumble and fall so will those you are influencing. 

Vocational ministry is hard, exhausting, can leave you typing resignation letters that never get sent. But it is the most amazing "job" you will ever have (we would work for free shhh don't tell the elders).... 

Where else do you get court side seats to see lives changed?!?!?! 

4. "You can not give what you don't possess".... In other words, if your own relationship with Jesus isn't on fire/ thriving/ growing, you can not FAKE it on the stage or your platform. No depth in your relationship with God= no depth to your teaching.  

Get fired up on stage, yell when you need, cry when you need to... Not to force emotional decisions but to show you're not afraid to be PASSIONATE

5. Teach genuinely and with vulnerability out of the well spring of your own current walk. Everything you experience is a sermon illustration waiting to happen. (Once you have a family get their permission FIRST before using an embarrassing story about them for your sermon illustration)

Speaking of having families and being in ministry... remember they are FIRST. God will hold you accountable for how you led them. You are the ONLY mommy, daddy, husband , or wife that you loved one has. Love them. Don't make them a make priority make them THE priority! 

"No one's opinion of me matters, if my children do not think I am genuine, no amount of success in ministry will make up for my failure at home."

"My desire is that the people who know me the best respect me the most."

 6. Gods word is alive and active! You don't need awesome programs or flashy entertainment to bling out the story of Jesus. The gospel stands alone, no fluff needed. 

7. Preach with complete humility. One the most passionate preachers /teachers I know will not take to stage/ platform/ step up to the pulpit without falling to their knees FIRST (begging God to show up and show off because if He doesn't we all might as well go home). Spend as much time (OR MORE) praying about your lesson or message as you do preparing for it!

 "As a Christian minister, I have no right to preach to people I have not prayed for." (A.W. Tozer)”

8. You are just the vessel or the messager. The message is always the same even though of methods of delivering that message might change.

9. Be ever in tune with the holy spirit. Let it be Gods words, not your own. His agenda, not your own. You will fail (maybe even bomb) a lesson or two but God doesn't call the qualified, He qualifies the called. Hang in there.

10. The best lessons/ sermons are CAUGHT not TAUGHT! People will more about who God by watching you rather than listening to you! Is your life radically different than those around you because you have been CHANGED by the love of Christ?

I'm been a pastors wife for almost 15 years... Have heard more messages than I can count. And I can name less than a dozen that really stood out to me. That's not because I'm sitting under forgettable mediocre teaching....


“I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”  Maya Angelou

Love well! God has big plans and I'm so blessed to see them fulfilled! Keep you're eyes on the prize!

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