Northwest District Supervisor Steve Mickel
Northwest District Supervisor Steve Mickel

During the Northwest District’s recent Regional Connects, attendees were asked, “What sustains you in ministry?” The responses provided pastors and leaders with great ideas that revolved around the Sabbath, healthy rhythms, relational priorities and intimacy with Jesus. One of the primary practices for sustainability in my life and ministry has been a sense of adventure.

I love adventure so much that I named my dog after the Lord of the Rings character, Bilbo Baggins. Adventure movies depict fascinating characters with audacious goals who face overwhelming obstacles with increasing courage and an ability to overcome them. 

However, ministry often does not feel like an adventure movie, but more like the mundane. We ministers often feel like we are barely making a difference. The names and faces might change, but the type of ministry we practice can often feel like a repeat, week after week.

So, what I decided to do a few years ago was to treat my life and ministry like an adventure movie. I’m not the central figure in the story. Jesus is. And what a fascinating character! His short life on Earth was filled with adventure: meeting new people, traveling around the region, confronting dark forces spiritually and physically, healing diseases, raising people from the dead and working with His team, who often were the slowest to get what He was teaching. He faced tremendous obstacles and yet did so with grace and courage.

In talking with many pastors and leaders this past month at the Northwest District Regional Connects, I’ve heard how difficult the road can be. I am praying Isaiah 43:2 over you.

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you, and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. —Isa. 43:2 (NIV)

As someone who has been through water and flame, I want to encourage you that God is with you. You are part of a grand adventure. So, don’t give up. He sees you and walks with you on this incredible journey.

of The Foursquare Church