"Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you through prophecy with the laying on of hands by the council of elders."
(1 Timothy 4:14)
When I read the Bible, I'm constantly looking for short passages & phrases to grab hold of. My eyes (and heart!) are drawn to these. Today I found another one: "DO NOT NEGLECT THE GIFT THAT IS IN YOU..." (1 Timothy 4:14). My mind immediately raced to think of all the talents that folks may have within them, that maybe they haven't been actively pursuing (ie. singing, dance, painting, poetry, photography, writing, etc.). I knew I'd write today about encouraging folks to JUST DO IT!
Then I read the 2nd par of this verse... and realized that Paul wasn't talking about people in general. No, this was referring to those who've been consecrated, ordained & set apart for ministry. This is a very direct message to pastors, shepherds & other ministry leaders to encourage them (us!) not to take our ministries for granted. Don't rest on our past practices. Keep growing, stretching, training, learning & practicing. It's easy to move from week to week, Sunday to Sunday, service to service, sermon to sermon, etc. The bigger challenge is to keep looking for ways that God is calling us (me!) to keep honing our skills as church leaders.
So don't settle for routine. Push past mediocrity into new opportunities to grow in ministry.
I guess this was a word for me today.