Not as mature as I need to be


A prayer I wrote using quotes from chapter 11 - Longevity - Paul Tripp's Lead:  12 Gospel Principles for Leadership in the Church

Lord God, 

Remind me that there is no such thing as an individual ministry.  Any ministry I am a part of is a community project.  I need the ministry of others in order to grow as a leader.  Bring people into my life and ministry that will stand in the way when I am going to make a bad choice.

Personally, grow in me a holy discontentment.  Never let me think that I am as mature as I need to be.

In community, help me be an agent of comfort you and to be comforted by others.

While we haven't been in places for a long time, I  pray that I, and my family, would be growing in maturity.  God, use me, wherever I am, to produce lasting gospel fruit.  I don't merely want to endure a ministry.

Your mercy, God, is the one thing that stands as the reason for any ministry.  May your mercy and my weakness cause me to run to God's grace for moment-by-moment help.  I want to be humbled by the Gospel, made courageous by the gospel, and infused with sturdy hope by the gospel.

God, thank you for giving me what I need in order to be what I'm supposed to be and to do w and to do what I am supposed to do right now, right now.


This was a particularly challenging chapter to read and prayer to write, especially because I was at my last ministry for only one year.  I would very much appreciate your prayers during this time of ministry searching and personal examination.  Thanks!

Gospel seeds need time to mature and grow, and the key to longevity is spiritual maturity because weeding and watering the garden that is the church is such hard work.  (194)

Every leadership community needs to understand that there is no such thing as individual ministry.  Every leader's ministry is a community project.  Every leader needs the ministry of other leaders in order to grow to the kind of maturity that will allow him to lead well over the long term and end well.  Every leader needs leaders who will stand in his way when he is about to choose the wrong way.  (194)

Longevity is the fruit of spiritual maturity is the result of longevity, and both are the fruit of the gospel community.  (194)

Every ministry leadership community should value and plan for longevity, which means every ministry leadership community must value and plan for spiritual maturity.  (196)

No leader should be considered as mature as he or she needs to be.  (196)

God makes his invisible comfort visible through agents of comfort he sends where comfort is needed.  Gospel community is intended by God to be incarnational, where we are to one another the look on God's face, the touch of his hands, his words, and his presence.  (197)

Too many leaders fail to experience the joyful fruitfulness of ministry longevity.  And let me say here that ministry longevity is not just about hanging in there for a long time but about growing in maturity and because there is growth in maturity, there is an increasing harvest of long-term fruit.  It's more than endurance; it's endurance that produces lasting gospel fruit.  (197)

There would be no kingdom of God, no church of Jesus Christ, no people of God, and no population in the new heavens and the new earth if it were not for the infinite patience of the Lord.  (199)

Redemption is longevity work.  (199)

Strategizing for ministry longevity means responding with patient grace in the face of a leader's spiritual immaturity, seeking to be part of God's work of rescue and transformation.  (200)

Paul says that there is only one thing that stands as the reason he has this ministry:  God's mercy.  (201)

Weakness in a ministry leader is not in the way of a vibrant ministry life but is a vital ingredient of it if that weakness causes him to run to God's grace for moment-by-moment help and to be open to the ministry of others.  (202)

There is no fear of man or the circumstances that would cause him to compromise the confrontation, comfort, or call of the gospel in any way.  (202)

Spiritual maturity in the life and ministry of a ministry leader is about being humbled by the gospel, made courageous by the gospel, and infused with sturdy hope by the gospel.  (203).

In order to lead, we need to be rescued daily from ourselves.  As leaders, we are not as humble or as courageous or as hopeful as we could be by grace.  (203)

You cannot grieve what you do not see, you cannot confess what you haven't grieved, and you can't repent of what you haven't confessed.  (204)

In a spiritually healthy leadership community, confession isn't unusual and awkward but a regular part of its culture of grace.  (205)

If confession is the result of eys that now see and a heart that is grieved, it will be followed by a desire for rescuing and transforming grace.  (205)

God has already given every one of us everything we need to be what we're supposed to be and to do what we're supposed to do right here, right now.  (206)


Agents of God's restoring mercy

A prayer I wrote using quotes from chapter 10 - Restoration - of Pau Tripp's Lead: 12 Gospel Principles for Leadership In the Church

Lord, the One who restores us, 

Thank you for the restoration work you have done, are doing, and will continue to do in my life.   

I pray that no matter the circumstances, my heart would be turned to you because that is what is right.  As I think about your forgiving, restoring, and delivering grace, I am utterly amazed.  Help me and the leadership communities I am part of to always trust in your restorative grace.     

Help me not make assumptions about the leaders I work with.  I don’t want to make assumptions about the spiritual conditions of leaders and at the same time, I don’t want to be passive.  Help me represent a restorative heart to my fellow leaders and the church. 

I want to be used, when needed, as an agent of God’s restoring mercy.  God help me to better understand that restoration is about glorifying you not getting back to a specific job or ministry position.

I pray that my confessional theology and functional theology would be the same.  Just because I am doing well in my assigned ministry does not mean I am spiritually where God wants me to be.


Even if sin necessitates a leader's removal from his position and ministry duties, turning toward him with grace is always right. (179)

We sinners don't just need forgiving grace; we need restoring grace.  And we don't just need restoring grace; we need delivering grace.  (179)

It is beautiful to see the power of restorative grace up close and personal, and it is sad to see that so many leadership communities don't actually trust its power when a key leader's sin has been revealed by the divine restorer.  (179)

Every church or ministry leadership community must be a restorative community if it's going to have long-term spiritual health and ministry effectiveness.  (180)

If it is true that every leader is in the middle of the ongoing work of God's sanctifying grace, then it is also true that there is still the presence of remaining sin in every leader's heart. (180)

Ministry effectiveness is not to be confused with the cleanness of the heart.  (181)

Assumptions that a leadership community makes about the spiritual condition of its leaders, assumptions that allow the community to passive rather than pastoral, result in a shocked and unprepared community when a fellow leader falls in some way and needs restorative care.  (181)

Every leadership community has moments when they are called to be agents of God's restoring mercy.  (181)

Every leadership community should commit to representing, in their leadership culture and relationships, the restorative heart of the Redeemer.  (183)

If we think it's possible to escape God's presence, we have gone spiritually insane!  (184)

By cultural identity, he is a God-fearer, but in terms of his response to God's call, he doesn't act like someone who fears the Lord.  In this way, his words confront us with the difference that may exist in a leader between his confessional theology and his functional theology.  (185)

Restoration is much deeper and more foundational than doing what is necessary to quickly get a leader back into his ministry position.  (186)

Restoration that isn't heart deep sets up that leader and his community for further problems because the core of the problem, the leader's heart, has not been restored to where God designed it to be.  (187)

We should not assume that because a leader is still doing his assigned ministry duties that he is spiritually where God wants him to be.  (188)

Restoration never minimizes the damaging reality of sin, but while it takes sin seriously, it also believes in the power of restorative grace.  It believes in God's power to turn a heart and rebuild a life.  (189)

No leader is impervious to temptations, because no leader is sin-free and sanctification-finished.  Not one.  (189)

So every leadership community needs to be committed to, and prepared for, those said and difficult moments when the Savior calls them to a restorative agenda.  (190)

We cannot be so protective of the institution, the church, that we discard leaders and members of the church as if they're broken and no-longer-needed commodities.  (190)