A prayer I wrote using quotes from chapter 1 - Achievement - of Paul Tripp's Lead:12 Gospel Principles for Leadership In the Church
Lord, God, the great good shepherd who makes his sheep lie in green pastures, who restores his sheeps' souls, as I continue this pastoral ministry search, I thank you for the reminder that I have no ability on my own to pastor a local body of believers.
I am not sovereign.
I cannot change people's hearts.
I often get in the way of what you are doing.
I cannot predict the future.
You are sovereign.
You change hearts.
Your ways do not change.
You do not predict the future you are in control.
God, you know my heart, help me desire Gospel growth of your people not the building of church stuff.
If it is your will, guide me to a ministry in which I can work hard, be disciplined, plan well, and be joyful while knowing none of these things guarantee results. Help me also remember that the lack of desired results does not define failure.
Wherever I am God, as pastor of a church, a warehouse worker serving as a lay elder, or anywhere else, I pray that my ministry passions and energies would be focused on doing everything I can to help people you have put in my life grow a deeper love for and service to Jesus. I want to be a disciple who makes disciples.
It is my prayer that the church that my family and I are a part of would not be marked by prayerlessness. May what you have done, are doing, and will do excite us more than what we are doing and plan to do.
Lord, I don't know where we will be, how long we will be there, or what we will do. I don't know what tomorrow will bring. If you, Lord, will, I will pastor a church. If you, Lord, will, I will not pastor a church. I pray that wherever we are, however long we are there, and whatever we are doing, we will glorify you!
I am thankful for the opportunities you give us to glorify you at Trinity Baptist Church, Northpointe Christian School, In On Time Logistics, and in our neighborhood.
Quotes from the book:
Because we are not sovereign over the situation in which we minister,
Because we have no power to change people's heart,
Because we are often in the way of instead of being part of what God is doing,
Because we cannot predict the future,
We have no ability on our own to achieve ministry growth or success. (39)
If hard, disciplined, faithful, well-planned, appropriately executed, and joyful ministry work does not guarantee results, then the lack of desired results should not define leadership failure. (40)
Failure is not first a matter of results; failure is always a matter of the heart. Ministry laziness and unfaithfulness are failures. (40)
Here is the danger: in local church ministry it is much, much easier to build church stuff than it is to build people. (42)
Our ministry passion and energies should be focused on doing everything we can to lead the people entrusted into our care into a deeper love for and service to Jesus so that everything we do serves this disciple-making purpose. (43)
Fruit in ministry is the result not of our wise planning and diligent execution but of the loving operation of God's rescuing and transforming grace. (48)
Prayerlessness in a leadership community is always a result of putting credit where it is not due. Your leadership community is in trouble if your leaders are more excited about a strategic planning meeting than a prayer meeting. (48)