“One of the great dangers of leadership is this: we stop doing ministry out of imagination and we start doing ministry out of memory. We learn how and forget why. We stop creating the future and start repeating the past.” -Mark Batterson
Disconnection from God would obviously not be a good thing in ministry. If ministry is an ambassadorship, then strong ties to the One who’s sent us is pretty important. Yet, the demands of ministry on our time and emotional reserves can often choke the life out of our connection with God. Differing opinions within a congregation as to what our ministry should be can get us so concerned and busy with keeping our flock appeased that we become distant from our Shepherd. Even success (however that may be defined in ministry) can lull us into a sense of accomplishment and sufficiency that causes us to stop relying on God.
If we are not extremely intentional about spending time with the Creator who crafted us for ministry in the first place, our imagination and creativity will suffer. He’s the source of creativity. Whatever we can accomplish apart from Him falls short of what He desires.
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” -Jesus
When we rely on our own reserves to accomplish the ministry that is before us, we dictate certain failure. I once was asked by a good man if I thought he had what it takes to be a lead minister. I said “You can do it if that’s what God wants to do through you.” The truth is that none of us ‘has what it takes’. None of us are qualified or worthy to bear the mantle of leadership of the Body of Christ. But Paul urged the Corinthian disciples to “…think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things…“
Paul prayed to “Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us…” I’m afraid that if we divorce ourselves from an Imagination that immeasurably supersedes our own, we also miss out on His power, leaving us inadequately equipped for a ministry fueled in the imagination.
A great resource for thinking about building an ever-strengthening connection with our Father is Eugene Peterson’s Under the Unpredictable Plant.