On Monday, we (as in the graduating seniors on core) shared encouragements and other “wise things” to the new core for next year. This made me reflect on my past two years of ministry on core for AACF. What are the main things I’ve learned about leading? I would say that #1 I learned about prayer. Seeing as how someone else was at first planning on sharing about prayer I decided to choose another that is closely related, humility. Then I found out that person was no longer doing prayer… but my heart had already been reset to humility. So I tried to weave the two together a little. But 5 minutes is not very long to share about humility and prayer in full… so prayer only got a small paragraph. Anyway, I thought I would share in a tweaked version of what I shared.
We as Christians seek to put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of our creator. In other words, we seek to imitate Christ in all that we do. One of the key components of this transformation is the clothing of humility. Especially as leaders, we must humble ourselves before our almighty creator.
“9He leads the humble in what is right,
and teaches the humble his way.” – Psalm 25:9
Now, I want to encourage you with something. This might not apply to you, but I think it helped me a lot when I went back to think about humility when I first started in ministry with AACF. I’ve seen many Christian leaders succumb to this depressed attitude because of their human sinfulness. I think for a lot of Christians, especially Asian Christians, there’s this feeling that being humble means not talking much, not insisting on our own opinions, and not taking a stand for ourselves, ya know, not thinking that we’re always right… but I think those are misconceptions. I think it’s similar to the theme of women’s ministry this year – to have a quiet and gentle spirit. In the same way that this doesn’t mean that all women should be week and hide in corners, humility doesn’t mean you down play yourself or just say the “right” things. I think there is such a thing as humble strength. If we look to Jesus, we see:
3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. 4 Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.
5 Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in very nature[a] God,
did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
7 but made himself nothing,
taking the very nature[b] of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
8 And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
And we think… WOW, if Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior made himself nothing, how much less nothing are we! Which is true… but the reaction is not to say “woe is me, I can do nothing for the kingdom of God, I’m just going quietly sit here and not make a scene”. But Christ was not like that! While he humbled himself before the Lord, he was strong in preaching truth. See, people try to learn humility through preoccupying themselves with their sin. We constantly bag on our sinful natures and how we are unworthy. It’s along the same lines of how we look to the cross and we mourn that Christ had to die for our sings, but then we forget to look up and say that “He has risen!”, “He has risen indeed” – we forget that not only die there crucified on the cross, but he also rose again on the third day. Christ defeated sin and we are no longer slaves to it.
The Christian experience becomes beautiful and blessed, when we realize how God is everything in life. We must embrace the sense of being nothing to make way for God to be everything. Through the awareness of our nothingness, we experience the richness of life through God. And this is the essence of true humility.
2 Corinthians 12:9,10
And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ‘s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.
The important thing is that we are not only week, but God has made us strong.
In these last two years on core, God and God alone has sustained me. Indeed, the secret to writing skits, organizing missions trips, and organizing events is this – prayer. When we come to God in desperate prayer, God helps us to humble our hearts and allow Him to run His ministry. If I were to do things myself, I would make a mess of things. Not only would I make a mess of things, but I would stress myself out, go crazy, and still make a mess of things. I have learned from experience. I encourage you – pray for your ministry. Not just when there’s an event, not just when you feel stressed, but every week if not every day. If there is no prayer, if there is no reliance on God, then this is nothing more than a campus club and we are doing nothing more than entertaining people. It’s like Will said last week – God doesn’t need us, but it is our joy and privilege to be able to serve and to be able to pray.
I want to let you know that if you believe in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. If you believe that He died on the cross and rose on the third day. If you believe that He defeated sin, and if you desire to be with Him in heaven and live your earthly life for Him – then you have been made strong. So if you are leading a ministry, in a ministry, or just serving in the way God has called you, then remember – if you feel like you aren’t good enough, if you’re not equip, if you’re not ready, it’s ok because it’s not on you, it’s on Him. And if you feel all the weight on your shoulders because you are burdened with your ministry, then take the time to give the burden to God, because it’s His ministry and not yours alone. You being here means that God has indeed ordained you. That He has given you the authority to lead His ministry.