A New Place To Manifest Excellence
Settling in to tackling a new challenge
On the 1st of November, 2013, I packed what little property I had into a bus and headed for a new place and a new challenge. In my hand was a letter from the Headquarters of the Ministry I serve with transferring me from Our Saviour's Chapel, University of Port Harcourt to Methodist Church Nigeria, Ndoki Circuit, Umuagbai. As I made the journey from one end of the State to virtually the other end of the State, I pondered over the new set of persons I was to meet and serve. And I prayed one simple prayer: LORD, GIVE ME THE LANGUAGE OF THE PEOPLE I AM SENT TO SERVE AND THE SECRET OF UNLOCKING THE DOORS OF MINISTRY TO THEM.
And the Lord has answered that prayer!
Four months down the line, it is as though I have lived here all my life. What happened? Others may have come and struggled but it never looked as if there was much to sacrifice. Could that be true? Definitely not!
Many times, people fail at a new challenge because they employ the last tactics that worked at the former place. They employ a formula that they are used to because (1) it succeeded before (2) They are comfortable with it... I came to realize that although people desire change in their situations and circumstances positively, they are very unwilling to leave their comfort zones and pursue such changes. They expected the shift in position to come from "others" and not themselves.
Pastors sit at home and expect members to be very active in Church without taking the time to visit and encourage them; Business owners sit in the store and expect businesses to prosper and customers to respond without making the required sacrifice to get things going...the Scripture admonishes us to be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. What sacrifices are we willing to make? And how do I go about establishing success at a place of new challenges?
(a) MAKE UP YOUR MIND: The battle is won or lost in the mind. If your mind is made up, there is little that can successfully discourage you. In order to make up our minds resolutely, we need to consider the extent to which we are willing to go in order to achieve results as well as set boundaries on the things that we would never allow in our ministry or business.
(b) KEEP JESUS BEFORE YOU AS YOUR ROLE MODEL: What would Jesus do if faced with the situations you find yourself in? Ecclesiastes chapter 3 from verse 1 tells us that there is time for everything...a time to embrace and a time to REFRAIN from embracing! To refrain means to exercise restraint irrespective of our feelings. Let us study the life of Jesus (not just His miracles) and emulate Him.
(c) DETERMINE BEFOREHAND THE KIND OF SACRIFICES TO MAKE: Do not go giving out promises on the spur of the moment when you know you cannot consistently perform concerning them. Choose wisely what you can CONSISTENTLY fulfill and make promises on them.
(d) ADVERTISE YOUR GIFTS: Make use of every opportunity to use your ministry gifts. Present programmes and other interesting meetings that call for the use of your gifts. There is a way your light will shine and your Father will be glorified.
(e) PRAY FOR OPEN DOORS: This is non-negotiable. If we refuse to pray, we will only begin to play. Prayer changes things!
(f) LOVE THEM EQUALLY - THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY!: If you love only those who love you, that is nothing to write heaven about. Love the unlovable - because it is your duty from heaven and your command from Jesus. It is a test of your love for Him. (John 21:15-17)
There may be other ways to shine in a new place with a new challenge; remember, it is GOD that works in us both to will and to do of His good pleasure. That is why we have this treasure in earthen vessels so that the excellency of the power will be of God not of us!
The Lord bless you.