I believe everyone in ministry is praying to God that they will have a ministry void of stress. I am glad to inform you that this is possible, as it is exactly the will of God for us all – since the work actually belongs to Him.
Using the Elijah-Elisha account as a case study, I realize that we stress in ministry because there is lack of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in the leadership; but notice that Elisha recognized the fact that the Holy Spirit was resident in his master; that’s why he sought to receive double portion of that spirit (2 Kings 2:9). With this spirit, both he and his master did not get stressed in this account.
This is to say that whoever carries the manifest presence of the Holy Spirit will not have stress in ministry. Wherever this Holy Spirit is truly present, we will do the work of the ministry (where one is devoted to praying and the word of God, and also visiting the sick); instead of the ministry of works (where we do works of email, cell phone, clerical and everything else which consumes time and remove one’s focus from the real profitable assignment). Remember how easy it was for the disciples to make the decision of what to do when it came to serving tables (Acts 6:1-7)?
When there is the manifest presence of the Holy Spirit in your pastor-member relationship:
- · Your followers / members truly and whole-heartedly believe in your calling and there is no stress in leading them. I notice that in the Elijah-Elisha account, Elisha totally believed in the ministry of his leader to the point that he made up his mind to follow him no matter where he went (2 Kings 2:2,4,6); therefore there was no stress in the ministry.
- · There will be unity between you and the people you are leading. Elisha was of one mind with Elijah, not querying his reason for moving from Bethel to Jericho to Jordan – just because God wanted to take him home (2 Kings 2:1-6); therefore there was no stress in the ministry.
- · There will be no selfishness or hidden agenda in the heart of the leader against the follower. I noticed that in all the cases where Elisha insisted on following him, Elijah did not prevent him from doing so; therefore there was no stress in the ministry.
- · You will make decisions that are profitable for the kingdom of God without needing to think twice about it. Notice that Elijah did not need to do extra thinking or special fasting and prayers before he decided to use the mantle in his hands to divide the Jordan water. He did not get surprised as to how to cross the river; the spirit of God in him just quickened him to know that what he needed as a tool (his mantle) to divide the waters was already with him (2 kings 2:8) – no stress recorded in their crossing over.
- · You will be able to do what you have seen your mentors (Jesus and other people) do. I notice that it was also without stress that Elisha parted the waters on his way back from Jordan, once he had received the double SPIRIT of Elijah (2 Kings 2:13-14).
In conclusion, I want to encourage all servants of God out there to
1) Remain focused on the Lord Jesus, the author and the finisher of our faith. Elisha kept focus on his master; that is all that was required. As soon as he saw his master taken, he got hold of the mantle.
2) Continue to ask for the indwelling, in-filling and the manifest presence of the Holy Spirit; this is the only way to enter into ministry without stress. The principle is that it is when the Holy Spirit comes upon you that you can receive power to do exploit for the Lord (Acts 1:8).
I close with a statement made by one of my newly found minister of God, Pastor Ladi Thompson, saying in his book, “A God idea, followed by godly counsel, brings sweatless victories.” The Lord be with you as you celebrate your new realm of ministry without stress.