Archive for the 'Guest Post' Category
The phrase, “Don’t let the disappointment in a ‘few’ keep you from loving the ‘many’,” comes from a chapter in my book, 10 Things Every Minister’s Wife Needs to Know. In recent days, I’ve gone through a season of disappointment and I’ve had to remind myself of my own words. And unfortunately, I am pretty sure I will find myself there again in the future. You may say, well, that’s just ministry life. But it’s not. It’s everyone’s life, regardless of the occupation of your husband.
As minister’s wives, we can be tempted to withdraw or retreat, become bitter, give up, or be resentful of hurts. But when we do that, we end up lonely, isolated, and we miss the blessings of the “many” God has called us to serve and serve with. We sometimes determine in our hearts we will never allow ourselves to be put in that position again – we determine not to be vulnerable or transparent ever again. We tell ourselves it’s not worth the effort or the hurt. Unfortunately, that gets us nowhere in the eyes of others, or most importantly, with the Lord.
Withdraw and Retreat or Honor and Commend
So how are we to respond when we feel that keen disappointment in others? In my recent season, I deliberately decided to respond exactly opposite of how I felt on the inside. Rather than choosing to withdraw (my natural inclination) and retreat, I chose to take advantage of an opportunity to honor and commend others.
Rather than focusing on my personal disappointment, I asked the Lord to show me how I could be an encouragement to others.
What Godly Women Do
As I started to work on overcoming this season of disappointment, the Lord began to give me an actual list of attributes of the women I serve and serve with. This list included attributes from godly women of all ages and circumstances. My list reminded me I am not alone in this battle, and that others walk beside me in ministry life, also fighting the good fight.
This list included:
- Women who had walked by their husband’s side faithfully for many years of marriage and ministry.
- Women who are young moms, trying hard to raise godly children in the midst of our very challenging world.
- Women with aging parents, as they attempt to care for ALL family, immediate and extended.
- Women who do well at balancing work outside the home/family life/ministry life.
- Women who have overcome tough backgrounds before salvation.
- Women who had experienced miscarriages, and some who desperately desired to have a child.
- Women who struggle with physical challenges, from weight issues to severe allergies, to chronic illness with little hope for healing here on this earth.
- A woman who’d suffered the loss of a child and lived out faith in front of us – grief and hope mixed together, honoring the Lord with faith and longing for the promise of heaven.
- Extremely creative women and women with a sense of humor – destined to keep us laughing!
I acknowledged what I’d seen lived out in the lives of these women.
- Women of heart
- Women of depth
- Women of self-sacrifice
- Women of submission
- Women of integrity
- Women who are wise
- Women who juggle many balls with great grace
- Women with grateful hearts
- Women who love the church
- Women who recognize their God-given gifts and use them for His glory.
Without a doubt, if you’re reading this, you could very well come up with your own list, plus a few more based on your individual ministry life. These are women you do ministry life with – women you serve with – women you watch faithfully live out the life God has called them to.
3 Actions To Take When You Are Disappointed In Others
So what do we do when people disappoint us? This certainly is a reality I would not and cannot deny. I’ve been there too many times as a pastor’s wife and I’m sure I will return there again.
1. Pour out your heart to the Lord.
Above all, I pour out my heart to the Lord. I ask Him to help me not give up. I ask him to help me forgive. I sometimes ask a very trusted friend to pray for me. I seek His Word for help because I know He has the answers better than anyone else.
2. Do something tangible.
In this particular season of disappointment, I did something tangible. I determined to turn my focus from my own personal hurt to honoring and acknowledging some extraordinary women God has placed in my life! Disappointment in others can be very depleting of our energies. Honoring others is refreshing and renews us.
3. Trust God and His Word.
My final words to you who may be going thru a season of hurt or disappointment come from His Word. Trust God and His Word, like these words from Philippians 1:9-11, “This is my prayer for you: that your love will grow more and more; that you will have more knowledge and understanding with your love; that you will see the difference between what is important and what is not and choose what is important; that you will be pure and blameless for the coming of Christ; that your life will be full of the many good works that are produced by Jesus Christ to bring glory and praise to God.” (ERV)
Refuse to become so disappointed in people that it rocks your faith or commitment to Christ. Keep your eyes on Jesus. God will see you through.
Today, RonnieFloyd.com welcomes guest writer, Dr. Edward Upton. Dr. Upton is the new President of the Cross Church School of Ministry.
Someone once told me, “If you have the intellectual capability to earn a higher degree, you have the moral responsibility to do so. We need ministers who know more, not ministers who know less.” I pondered that statement for several years while pursuing my Doctor of Ministry degree from Southern Seminary. I did not know exactly how that would play out in my life, but I knew that I felt God was calling me to be more involved in training younger ministers to be church leaders.
My Calling to the Cross Church School of Ministry
When Dr. Crawford left Cross Church to follow God’s call to Tennessee, I began wondering if some sort of leadership opportunity within the School of Ministry was something that I should explore. I entered into a season of praying and seeking God’s will for my life concerning the School of Ministry. I was in a good place (some of the most fruitful ministry I have ever experienced) as the Campus Pastor of the Neosho Campus. I loved what I did and loved where I lived, but I could never really get past the thought that kept coming back to my mind – that it was my job to help train the next generation.
Several weeks ago, Pastor Floyd and I had a conversation that led to me going home that evening and spending the night in prayer concerning what I felt God was calling me to do. And so, a couple of weeks ago, I began the process of saying goodbye to my brothers and sisters in Neosho to come to Northwest Arkansas to lead the Cross Church School of Ministry.
What is The Cross Church School of Ministry?
I have been asked often in the past couple of weeks what the School of Ministry is about, and what that looks like on a daily basis. I thought I would use this time to share what we are trying to accomplish through the school.
The Cross Church School of Ministry is a 1-year ministry residency that prepares leaders for life, ministry, and Gospel advancement globally. Cross Church believes in education, and we practice this belief with our staff. We believe that although theological education is vital and necessary to the health of the minister, a holistic education of church leadership goes beyond the theological education into helping future church leaders understand the rigors of ministry through practical, hands-on education that we can provide through our Cross Church organization.
Why You Should Consider Spending a Year with us at Cross Church
We believe that we have a responsibility to train future ministers in life. If you were to decide to come and spend a year with us, you would learn life in ministry, how to develop your own spiritual walk, how to develop spiritual disciplines, how to fight against your sin tendencies, and how to interact with others.
We also believe that we have a responsibility to train future ministers in the ministry of the church. The ministry of the church includes preaching, discipleship, evangelizing the lost, leading the church, how to set up church government, leading mission trips, church planting and revitalization, and developing mission and vision statements all through the particular track of study that you choose.
Lastly, we believe that we have a responsibility to train future ministers for Gospel advancement globally. This means that we are in the business of completing the Great Commission. We strive to train future leaders to develop churches that desire to see the nations come to Christ. We do this through both international and domestic mission trips, vision trips for church planters, and by developing relationships with organizations such as North American Mission Board and International Mission Board to become a pipeline for future church planters and missionaries.
A Unique Option for our Students
One of the really cool options that we offer our students in the School of Ministry is the opportunity to earn college and seminary credits during their 1-year residency if they desire. We offer credit hours at several colleges as well as most of our Southern Baptist seminaries. In fact, at one seminary, we can offer up to 24 credit hours, tuition free, toward a Master of Divinity degree.
The future is exciting and bright for the Cross Church School of Ministry! I am unbelievably blessed that God has opened this door for my family and me. If you know you are called to ministry, I would highly encourage you to check out the School of Ministry website, crosschurchschool.com, and see if God may be calling you to come experience a year of hands-on ministry training at one of our 5 campuses. And while you’re at it, travel the world with us while being afforded the opportunity to earn some college or seminary credits too!
For the King and His Kingdom,
Dr. Edward Upton
President, Cross Church School of Ministry