Category Archives: Leadership

Rising Above Discouragement in Church Service

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Each time reality falls short of what an individual expects, discouragement is bound to set in. Precisely, this is what befell my heart when I joined the ministry as a lay pastor after heeding to God’s calling. The conviction that accompanied the calling assured me that all would be well in the vineyard. I thus expected my joy, finances and whatever I touched to prosper as I preached the gospel. I also supposed to see my congregation grow spiritually, materially and in numbers. After four years of total commitment that yielded negligible change at our church, I felt distressed, worn out and on the verge of giving up.

We all have come to such points in life where we felt that God short-changed us. In this valley of desperation where everything seems to have come to a standstill, doubts feel our minds, and we begin questioning if at all God is still in support of our ministries and if He indeed loves us. David, a man after God’s own heart, once found himself in such a situation. We see him responding positively – he encouraged himself in the Lord (1 Samuel 30:6). This should also be our mentality whenever we are hard pressed to the wall by circumstances in the course of serving.

The Bible gives us several ways we can use to rise above discouragements as we tend His flock. Let me show you a few of these ways from the scripture.

1. Study the Word

Ezra and Nehemiah faced fierce opposition when rebuilding the wall of the city after the Israelites came back from captivity. The early church endured resistance as it preached Christ. Some were persecuted yet they soldiered on. Reading tales of such upright men undergoing opposition yet rose above discouragement in their days gives you the strength of holding on to your calling. The word confronts our wrong priorities (Matt. 6:33), reproofs and corrects us (2 Tim 3:16), and instructs us how to live in this age (Titus 2:12).

2. Stick to your assignment

Some of the discouragements that we face while serving come when we veer from what God called us to do. If God did not call us to be politicians, it might be inappropriate to voice our concerns on every political issue arising. Discouragements may give us an opportunity to go back to the drawing board and restart what we were indeed called to do.

3. Trust God

The greatest means you can use to fight discouragement is trusting God. Whenever doubts fill your head on whether God is with you in your ministry, the best weapon to pull out is your confidence in God. Phil. 1:6 assures us that the good work Christ has begun in us will come to a completion. We can believe this word from God and rest in Him.

4. Talk to a friend

There are times in the ministry where you just need a friend who has been through what you are currently undergoing to listen to you. The ideal time for such a friend is when you are going through discouragements. As a minister, find someone you can confide in your secrets. It is not advisable to be a lone ranger as you are likely to be overwhelmed by the enemy. Let them listen to you, advise and even pray with you. It is so refreshing to find one person who approves what you are doing in the midst of discouragements.

5. Pray intensively

The Apostle Paul tells us in Ephesians 6:10 – 18 that we are on a battlefield. One of the weapons this scripture says is at our disposal is prayer. Serving as a minister means that you are at the forefront of the battle and Satan is fiercely fighting to bring you down so that he can attack your church with ease. One of the tools he uses to fight the church is a discouragement. You can win the war against despair on your knees. Engage more in prayer when the desperation gets intense.

6. Take rest

Finally, I would advise you take some time off pastoring and just relax. If possible, do not take phones with you as they are likely to distract you. Go far away for a vacation. Relax, have fun and come back rejuvenated and ready to continue. Rest what you most likely need during times of discouragement.

Most importantly, do not give up. Fix your eyes on Jesus. Remember there is a reward in heaven for you if you do not lose heart.
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Contributed by Walker Musalia

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Church Leadership: Dealing With Difficult People

Years ago when I managed the Quality Assurance Department of a Horticultural company, I learned a few things about dealing with difficult people at the workplace but nothing quite prepared me on how to deal with them in the church. If you’re in ministry leadership, no doubt you’ve probably had to face this challenge. Every spiritual leader, from Moses to Paul, has faced complexities to their God-called leadership. I think that intricate church folk are undoubtedly the hardest challenge. How do you handle them?

Lately I have been going through an issue and I’m having to develop The Fruit of the Spirit all over again. Because when I examine myself I notice that some of the fruit are not all that well-developed. That shouldn’t surprise you since none of us is perfect. We all have areas of improvement and when you spot one area where you’re falling short, stop and ask the Lord to develop it in you. It is important because those that you lead and unbelievers around you need to see those graces operational in your life. They are not only an evidence of your conversion but also a testimony of God’s indwelling.

If you haven’t already, you will definitely encounter difficult brethren as you minister and you are expected to deal with them. With the hope of encouraging church/ministry leaders I’d like to share 10 lessons I have learned. Remember this:

♡Prayer comes first – always. Matthew 5:44, Luke 6:8
♡You’re not called to please everyone but to live at peace with them. Romans 12:18
♡Refuse to play their game. Matthew 22:18
♡Refuse to retaliate. Matthew 5:38-39, 1Peter 2:23
♡Minister/preach with kindness. Proverbs 25:21-22, Romans 12:20
♡Work with the willing. Matthew 22:14
♡Those are God’s people too. 1 Corinthians 12:27, 2 Timothy 2:25-26
♡Church leadership might be tough but you’re not alone. Numbers 11:10-17
♡Learn from those experiences – you’ll grow into and become a stronger leader. Proverbs 1:5, Proverbs 24:32
♡Above all, trust in God – He is the cure-giver; you’re only a care-giver and that, to me, is a privilege! Isaiah 26:3-4, Psalm 37:5, Psalm 40:4, John 21:17

As a Church Leader, think about what legacy you want to leave behind and remember that God is more concerned about developing your character than He is about fixing your problems. Here’s a word of caution: Moses did not enter the Promised Land because he struck the rock twice, instead of speaking to the rock as God had instructed him to. It won’t happen to you, in Jesus’ Name! You are called, chosen, anointed, equipped, blessed and sent! Isn’t that a privilege? Now, feed His sheep!

Copyright © 2014 Dee Kyalo-Mwanzia. All Rights Reserved.

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Dee Kyalo, author of Crushing Invisible Barriers and Looking Up . Check out the cool reviews and ‘like’ us on Facebook! Both books are available here now.

Who wants to be a millionaire?

MillionaireLogoI just started a game of Jigty puzzles on my phone and a thought came through my mind: “What if I could solve my life’s puzzles in 20 minutes or less?” Honestly, I really wish I could. You see I have issues that I would like settled yesterday but in the same breath I’d like to say that thus far God has been very faithful to me. It is human nature (I think), to feel somewhat impatient with some levels in one’s life. When you experience monotony, it’s natural to feel like you want to move to the next (or a different) level – quickly!

Single people may want to marry in a hurry.
Married people may want to call it off in a huff.
Teenagers may want to be as free as the rent they don’t pay.
Children may want to grow up as fast as the speed of light!

I think all that is “normal” – to some extent. The real issue here is how you compare what you want against the chart of what you should have.

From time to time I get Facebook inbox messages and emails from people asking me to stand with them in prayer for certain issues of life. The complexity of some concerns can be overwhelming but when you realize that humans can only do so much, you rest your hope somewhere else. I have become conscious of the fact that life is not a Jigty puzzle so daily I learn to put my hope and trust in God. As I take this faith journey, I do so with the determination of extending hope and encouragement to those I come across.

“What if I could solve my life’s puzzles in 20 minutes or less?”

“What if I could solve my life’s puzzles in 20 minutes or less?”

In the course of providing counsel, I received a message from a young man who lost his whole family in a car wreck. “I have no wife, no kids and no home. I am thinking of committing suicide.” He writes. This is intricate! What do you tell a man who has lost his will to live? Where do you start? I wish I could tell him, “Pick up this piece and put it to the left, then move this one to the right and voila!” For sure, life is not a rehearsal, especially where human life is concerned – and hanging by the thread. You cannot just come back and say, “Oops, I guess you shouldn’t have moved that piece.” It might be too late for that. Therefore, I am learning that when God sends someone your way, His main purpose is to preserve life. However, it may not be as literal as saving a person from physical death. People face a whole range of situations and you have a solution to at least one.

This brings me to something Jesus said. “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” – John 10:10. If we are followers of Christ, we too must give life and strive to give it to the full to those we come across.

Many are lost, find one
Many are wasting, preserve one
Many are hungry, feed one
Many are in bondage, free one
Many are hopeless, encourage one
Many are frustrated, help one
Many are in darkness, enlighten one
Many are hurting, comfort one
Many are dying, save one

Okay, this was not about money but souls. You’re not a millionaire by having a million dollars. You’re a millionaire by influencing a million people for the glory of God. So, do you want to be a millionaire?

[Inspired by John 10:10, Matthew 5:13-16]

*This article was written by Dee Kyalo, Author of Crushing Invisible Barriers
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