Passion for the Ministry… It’s still there!
The unparalleled privilege has been mine to pastor the North Valley Baptist Church for well over three decades and to serve in full-time Christian ministry for nearly four. In those years, my love for the Lord and the desire to serve Him have not waned; on the contrary, as God’s people have experienced in their own lives, that passion has only intensified, consuming every waking moment.
The dictionary defines the word passion as “an intense drive, enthusiasm, extreme.” The word might hold various connotations in the world; but for the servant of God, passion for and in the Lord’s work must transcend the temporal. Perhaps you might be considering the level of your own spiritual passion for the ministry today. A simple way to measure that “intense drive” is to consider if any of these attributes below are reflected in your life:
Drive comes from within, provoked by the internal. The external might rouse you to great feats for a time; but ultimately, you must be compelled by your own love for the Lord and by your personal commitment to His work. The past—with its victories as well as disappointments—should not also arrest our purpose; for if our drive is in constant reverse, how can we possibly move forward?
The name Trieber means “driver,” serving as a continual and convicting reminder of what I should possess as a bearer of the name. And, as a bearer of titles such as “pastor” or “Christian worker,” may each of us associate possessing drive with serving the Lord.
Vision is picturing the way it could or should be in the immediate future. It sees more, not less—more opportunities, more challenges. A nearsighted Christianity will keep you in a tunnel, obstructing your sight of the end ahead and, in due course, of the possibilities beyond.
Passion is reflected in an optimistic attitude, a “can-do” spirit. In Numbers 13, the Lord had commanded Moses to send twelve men to survey the land of Canaan. The initial report was “evil,” planting seeds of doubt and fear throughout the tribes, to such a degree that the Bible says that Caleb “stilled the people” before presenting his own assessment—“Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it.” The confidence Caleb as well as Joshua had was not based on some blind faith but solely on the Lord and His promise to them. They were optimistic because the battle had already been won.
The Apostle Paul said,
This one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before.
Once again, that compelling drive is exhibited.
Zeal and Enthusiasm
I believe God is not yet finished with me, because He has placed in my heart a great zeal and enthusiasm for His work. I am fired up! Serving God with passion does not leave time for a casual attitude or indifference to foster.
Get with It!
Simply put, get with it! A Christian worker with a passion for the ministry arrives early to work and starts immediately. If he teaches Sunday school or works on a bus route, he attends every meeting and is faithful to his ministry each week. You will be hard-pressed to find him in any other place than where he is supposed to be.
I recently celebrated a birthday and embarked upon a new decade in life. I asked myself this question: “Do I have the passion–the drive, the vision, the optimism, the zeal—to pastor this church?” I am glad to report I have more passion for the Lord, for His work, and for this ministry than ever.