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Thanks to the development of technology, my office is wherever I am with my phone. It is really amazing how something as simple as a smartphone has changed how we do ministry. That’s why we panic when our battery level is at 5 percent and approaching zero. At that point we are searching for a charger and a power outlet.

Some weeks ago, I had arrived home late in the evening and had to leave early the next morning. Because of this, I failed to charge my phone. I didn’t get far into the next day until my phone battery was dwindling. As you know, when you are without your phone, you feel lost, disconnected and unempowered.

The problem was easily resolved when I plugged the phone into an electrical power source. As I was reflecting on this simple experience, I thought, That is often what we do when we are engaging in ministry. We want to be empowered. We want to carry out the ministry and mission of Jesus with power and effectiveness. We want to be dynamically used by God to make a difference in the world. But often, due to the press of schedules, lack of priorities or passion, or other reasons, we engage in ministry without plugging in to get empowered.

In John 10:9 Jesus said: ” I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture” (NKJV). I believe that Jesus gave us a key insight to living an empowered life and carrying out empowered ministry: We must go in before we go out. We must plug in to the power source before we engage in the ministry Jesus has called and commissioned us to lead. I think most pastors and leaders understand this reality, but we often don’t do what we know.

Because I have a bias to action and am wired to make things happen, I often have to remind myself that, if I am going to do the work of Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit, “going in” must be a priority. As a matter of fact, if I don’t go in to Jesus, I end up going out in my own power. The end result is not effective, God-glorifying or kingdom-building.

If there is one thing I have learned in 26 years of ministry, it is that the work we do for God can destroy the work of God in our lives. To live empowered, we must get empowered. So whatever you do, make sure you are going in so you can effectively go out to be Jesus to a hurting world.

Prayer Points

  • Pray that we will have discernment to manage our schedules so that we keep the pursuit of God a priority.
  • Pray for a fresh anointing of God’s Spirit to enable us to carry out Christ’s work with power.

Share your thoughts. See comments below, and add your own.

is the senior pastor of Grace Covenant (Cornelius Foursquare Church) in Cornelius, N.C.