Sacrificial Leadership

Effective leadership starts with sacrifice. In Romans 12, Paul writes about offering ourselves as a ​living sacrifice​ to God. Paul says it clearly in Romans 12:1,

“And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you ​to give your bodies to God​ because of all he has done for you. Let them be ​a living and holy sacrifice—​ the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.” ~ Romans 12:1

When we take on ministry positions, we are offering up our lives as a living and holy sacrifice. By doing this, we are ​truly worshiping the Lord. However, as we read more into Romans 12, Paul goes on to explain 10 ​key​ elements that make up effective ministry workers.

10 Key Elements that make up Effective Ministry Workers:

1. Letting GOD transform the way we ​think​.​ (Romans 12:2)

“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you ​THINK.​ ​Then​ you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” ~ Romans 12:2

[bctt tweet=”The way we think controls the way we act. And the way we act translates to how we perform in our jobs, interact with others, love our friends and family, and, most importantly, how we be examples to others of what it looks like to be a follower of Jesus Christ.” username=”breathepartners”]

Once we let God change the way we ​think,​ ​THEN​ we will know God’s will for our lives. Being an effective ministry worker ​must​ begin with letting God change the way you think. Only then can you be exactly where God wants you.

2. Being ​honest w​hile evaluating yourself.​ (Romans 12:3-5)

“Because of the privilege and authority God has given me, I give each of you this warning: ​Don’t think you are better than you really are.​ Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us.” ~ Romans 12:3 

Many times in ministry, we can fall into our own comfort zones and routines. When this happens we tend to believe that what we’ve been doing is “good enough” and it’s simply “getting the job done”. However this should NEVER be the case for ministry workers. We need to be constantly changing and looking for ways to ​improve​. Paul says to stop thinking you are better than you ACTUALLY are​! We need to stop believing that there is no more room for improvement. You haven’t peaked yet. You can be reaching ​more people. You can be showing people how to have even ​stronger​ relationships with Jesus. Be honest with yourself and never stop improving.

3. Doubling down on your strengths.​ (Romans 12:6)

“In his grace, God has given us ​different​ gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, ​speak out with as much faith as God has given you​.” ~Romans 12:6 

We need to be aware of how God has wired us and what ​gifts H​e has given us. When it comes to working with a team of people on a big project, we need to understand that we ​cannot take on every single task by ourselves… ESPECIALLY IN MINISTRY! God made each and everyone one of us unique. Each of us have strengths in specific areas and it’s incredibly important that we ​DOUBLE DOWN ON OUR STRENGTHS ​and learn to delegate our weaknesses to somebody who can do it better. Paul says to identify your gift and use it with as much faith as God has given you! Find your strengths and focus ​all o​ f your energy into those God-given gifts.

4. Loving ​authentically​.​ (Romans 12:9-10)

“​Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them.​ Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.” ~ Romans 12:9-10 

Starting out in a new ministry role can be so exciting! We begin our work so enthusiastically ready to love God and love people. We do it for a couple of months and then things begin to real. The work gets a bit more difficult and the people become a little harder to love at times. With this, we can tend to “go through the motions” when it comes to loving people. Paul explicitly says to ​stop pretending.​ Be ​AUTHENTIC ​when you go to love and serve others. We need to constantly remind ourselves that we ​get​ to love because God first loved us. Be genuine.

5. WORKING HARD.​ (Romans 12:11)

“Never be lazy, but ​work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically​.” ~ Romans 12:11 

WORK HARD… and do it enthusiastically. It can be easy for us to do things halfway the more we work in ministry. We tend to give less and less energy towards our work as time goes on. But we need to constantly remember that it’s GOD we serving. We need to work as if we are working for the Lord… because we are.

6. Praying without ceasing.​ (Romans 12:12)

“Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying.” ~ Romans 12:12

Working in a ministry almost guarantees that there will always be trouble. But Paul says that even in the midst of that trouble, keep on praying. In fact, when the going gets rough, that’s when we need to lean into God even harder. God needs to be the center of every ministry. Whether in times of trouble or times of success, pray without ceasing.

[bctt tweet=”Whether in times of trouble or times of success, pray without ceasing.” username=”breathepartners”]

7. Practicing ​hospitality.​ ​(Romans 12:13)

“When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to ​practice hospitality.​” ~ Romans 12:13 

It can be uncomfortable for some of us to bring other people into the privacy and comfort of our own homes. However, God calls us to love people and do life with others in fellowship and discipleship. So when working in ministry, don’t be afraid, embrace the opportunity to practice hospitality to all people.

8. Removing your pride.​ (Romans 12:16)

“Live in harmony with each other. ​Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people.​ And don’t think you know it all!” ~ Romans 12:16

When other people look at ministry workers, they may see someone who believes they are better than the rest of the world. This should ​never ​be the case. Paul says to check your pride at the door and enjoy the company of ALL people. Stop thinking you are better than the rest of the world because you wear a ministry job title. We are called to love and live in harmony with all people… not just our fellow ministry workers.

9. Working ​honorably​.​ (Romans 12:17)

“Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way ​that everyone can see you are honorable.​” ~ Romans 12:17

In the movie Spider-Man 2, Uncle Ben says, “With great power, comes great responsibility.” That quote applies to ministry workers everywhere! God has placed us in a position to be examples of what it looks like to be a follower of Jesus Christ. People are going to look to us to see how a biblical life should be lived. In order to do this, we need to work honorably.​ We can’t leverage our positions to make our lives easier or to get back at people who have wronged us. It may be difficult at times, but we need to be objective with the way we get the job done.

10. Conquering your temptations.​ (Romans 12:21)

“Don’t let evil conquer you, but ​conquer evil by doing good​.” ~ Romans 12:21

When we work in ministry, we are walking onto the battlefield. Satan HATES when we are doing what God has called us to do. When we are working in ministry, we are going to be tempted to sin harder than ever before. It’s going to come whether we’re ready or not, but Paul shows us how to conquer these temptations. We need to occupy ourselves with doing ​good.​ We can’t sin when we are constantly in God’s word, in prayer, or serving others. When temptation comes, we need to lean into God harder than ever. Allow God to fight these battles ​with ​you.

You are not alone in this war… the God of angel armies is on your side. Call on him and do good.