Stay Close...Stay Together...Stay Alert

In 2010, I can count on more than one hand Pastors I know that left the ministry. Several were due to moral failure. It seems as if they were devoured by the enemy.

The Bible tells us in I Peter 5:8 that "Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour."

I am currently working on a teaching for some conferences coming up in 2011. The teaching will be entitled "Leaders That Last...How to Go the Distance in Children's Ministry." I will be sharing some keys to longevity in ministry.

One of the keys is not getting devoured by the enemy, Satan. He wants to take you down this year. He wants to destroy your reputation and wreck havoc in your family. How do you withstand his attacks in 2011 and beyond? Three things...

Stay Close.
I was watching the Animal Planet channel the other day and they had a special about lions and how they attack. The lion normally looks for the sheep that is out on the fringes of the herd...away from the dangerously out on the edge. Those are the easiest preys for the lion. It's a lot harder to attack a sheep that is close to the shepherd. The closer you are to the shepherd the safer you are.
  • Stay close to the Shepherd...Jesus. Have an intimate, growing relationship with Him.
  • Guard your relationship with Him above all else. Let nothing come before it.
  • Don't live out on the edge...flirting with sin. Set clear boundaries and principles that keep you close to the Shepherd.

Stay Together.
The farther away a sheep gets from the other sheep, the greater his chance of being attacked becomes. There is safety in the midst of the herd. Together, the flock can drive away attacks.
  • Have close friends that hold you accountable and that you can comfortably share with when facing temptation, discouragement, etc.
  • Be part of corporate worship on a regular basis. Hang out with other believers. One of the enemies' greatest weapons is to get you alone...away from church...away from other believers. (Hebrews 10:25)
  • Don't be too proud to seek the counsel and help of other Pastor's and leaders.

Stay Alert.
I Peter 5:8 tells us to "Stay alert alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil." Lions are very sly hunters. They will spend hours quietly creeping up on a potential victim. The victim will not know they are being stalked until it's too late...with a roar the lion is upon them.
  • Ephesians 5:15 tells us to walk "circumspectly." It means to walk carefully...being alert to everything that is going on around you.. Keeping your eyes opening for any signs of an attack.
  • Continue to grow. Have a teachable spirit.When you lose your teach ability, the devil can slip in and cause you to grow complacent.
  • Know your weak and vulnerable areas. Watch for pending attacks in those areas.
I once heard someone say that "Greatness in ministry is not measured in years...but in decades." If you want to go the distance, then you must stay close, stay together, and stay alert.

Posted by Dale Hudson