As much as we would like to say we would all be the same and have the same honor in heaven, the Bible reveals otherwise. We are told that everyone will give an account of what he has done in the flesh.
By extension, everyone will receive a reward for what they have done in the flesh. So, are you running your race with this consciousness?
There was this inspiring story of a certain Korean pastor who died and went to heaven and hell. When he got to heaven, he heard the voice of the Lord welcome him into heaven. Then the Lord asked him 5 interesting questions that I will like to bring to our notice as ministers of God.
But before we get into these questions, I like to state the fact that this pastor was no small pastor at all. He had grown the ministry from the ground up to a 5000+ member congregation with an asset base of over $150M.
With all that in mind, Jesus asks the pastor the following questions:
1) How Much Time Did You Spend Reading The Bible
Pastor Park probably wasn’t shocked when the Lord asked this question. After all, he had been in the ministry for over 20 years now. But something I will like to stress here is the fact that there is a difference between reading the bible and preparing a sermon.
In sermon preparation, we often spend a lot of time reading and researching the word of God. This is great but if all your bible study boils down to the ones you do in preparation for a message, something is fundamentally wrong with your Christianity.
As a pastor, you should never forget that you are first and foremost a Christian before you are a minister. Being called into the ministry doesn’t override the fact that you are a Christian. As a matter of fact, being called into the ministry is your secondary calling! You are primarily called to be a believer in Christ Jesus.
I, therefore, recommend that you develop a consistent study life. Have a plan for studying your bible on your own. Then add a plan for preparing your messages. For example, you can decide that you will study your Bible every day between 9 am and 11 am. Then when you are preaching, you will study between 2 pm and 5 pm.
That way, your studies for preaching is the extra study time rather than the only study time you observe.
2) How Much Time Did You Spend Praying?
Quite frankly, it is assumed most pastors shouldn’t have a problem with this. But sadly that isn’t the case at all. You find that there are ministers who have become so busy doing several things that their prayer time has been relegated to the background.
So what they have left is a 15minutes morning devotion that they do on the way to the office or prayer during church service times.
Moreover as for me, God forbid that I should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you: but I will teach you the good and the right way: (1 Sam 12:23)
Samuel understood that it was a sin against God Almighty to be a leader in the house of God without being a person of prayer. He knew that being in the ministry demands that you spend time praying for those you are leading.
How else do you hope to bring about real transformation in the hearts of people? What do you think separates us from motivational speakers or politicians campaigning for office?
It is the prayer power behind the word you bring to the people that catapults them into the realms of what you say. So once that fire is out, what you have left is nothing but a religion of mere words.
Develop a prayer schedule but beyond that, become so attuned to God that He can interrupt your schedule to pray. Be sensitive to the move of the spirit enough to know when he is calling you up for prayer.
Most times, when God wants to do something new in your life and ministry, He introduced it in the place of prayer. It starts with a burden to pray that transforms into something else.
3) How Much Time Did You Spend Evangelizing?
There is a great difference between being an evangelist and evangelizing. In fact, in Paul’s second letter to Timothy admonished the young chap to “do the work of an evangelist” even though it is clear in scripture that he wasn’t an evangelist.
But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry. (2 Tim 4:5)
Still, in line with the fact that you are first a Christian before you are a minister, evangelism is a mandate for all believers. So the fact you are called into the office of a teacher or prophet doesn’t mean you are excluded from that mandate.
- When was the last time you told someone about Jesus?
- When was the last time you actually worn a soul?
You want to consistently seek ways of reaching out to the unreached and bringing them into the fold of God.
Many pastors equate preaching a great sermon to soul winning but this is wrong. It is one thing to preach a marvelous sermon and strengthen the brethren but it’s a totally different thing to go out there and tell the untold about Jesus! Nothing can take the place of that responsibility.
Whatever you do, however big or busy you get, never lose sight of these fundamentals.
At the end of the day, these are some of the things that determine your rank in heaven. God may not be asking you how many great messages you preached, but He will ask you how much time you spent in word, prayer, and evangelism.
What can you do about your study, praying and evangelism schedule now to up your game?