I had never seen him before. As people lined up after the service to say hello or to ask for prayer, he stood off to the side. He waited patiently for the chance to talk with me. I shook his hand and asked for his name. He wondered if I had a minute to talk.
We sat down on the front row of seats in our auditorium, and I asked how I could help. With tears in his eyes, he said, “I just need to talk to a man of God.”
Like so many people today, Jerry (name changed) traced his spiritual roots back to a grandmother who took him to church. However, his choices in adulthood had taken him in a different direction.
Jerry confessed heavy drug use. His two children had recently been taken away by the State of California and were now in foster care. His live-in girlfriend had been arrested for drug possession, and he had been evicted from his apartment. For several nights he had slept in a church parking lot.
I led Jerry into the office where in privacy he told me his story. I heard the whisper of the Holy Spirit saying, “This is why I called you into ministry…for people like Jerry.”
Leading people to faith in Jesus never gets old. I rejoiced with Jerry as he confessed Jesus Christ as his Savior and Lord. We are now working to get Jerry entered into Teen Challenge, a Christian drug and alcohol rehabilitation ministry.
I keep thinking of Jerry’s words… “I just need to talk to a man of God.”
These words remind me of a story in 1 Samuel 9 where Saul was looking for his father’s missing donkeys. In verse 6 Saul, with a sense of desperation says, “Look, in this town there is a man of God; he is highly respected, and everything he says comes true. Let’s go there now. Perhaps he will tell us what way to take.”
I don’t think any of us as pastors consider ourselves men of God in a boastful way. If we are men of God, it is only by his grace…but your city needs a man of God.
Our communities are broken by the pain and devastation of sin. Let’s not become numb and callous to the fact that the real problems in our culture are spiritual.
Your community needs a man (or woman) of God. To be God’s representative there are some priorities on which we must focus.
1. Make your relationship with God your number one priority.
An Ellis Research Survey found that only 16% of pastors are “very satisfied” with their prayer life. If this study is true, then 84% of us would like to spend more time with God. The challenge, of course, is not desire but busyness. What would happen if we pushed everything back until we had spent sufficient time with God?
Early in my ministry an older pastor told me… “Your ministry is an overflow of your devotional life.” I’ve never forgotten those words. If I have something fresh to give, it is only because I have spent time with the Lord.
2. See the needs of your community with fresh eyes.
It’s possible to live in a community and not really be aware of the needs around you. Begin to pray God would help you see what He sees. Here are some things that help:
3. Listen for God’s direction with open ears.
As you begin to see the needs of your community ask God to speak to you and give direction. You can’t meet every need, but where does He want you to start? Perhaps God will give you one or two needs that your church can meet.
4. Remember your ministry is about people, not just tasks.
Have you ever viewed people and their needs as interruptions? I’m sorry to say that I have. You have probably heard the old saying, “Ministry would be easy if it wasn’t for people.”
God didn’t call us to tasks…he called us to love, reach, serve, and disciple people.
5. Lead people to spiritual solutions.
While there are many needs in your community, the greatest way you can serve is by meeting spiritual needs. Yes, we feed the hungry, clothe the poor, and counsel the hurting, but every effort is made to point people to Jesus.
In 1 Samuel 9:27 Saul met up with the man of God and was given this message… “stop here yourself for a while, that I may make known to you the word of God.”
Men of God bring the Word of God into every situation. Allow God to use you today to bear His message.
Question: What needs exist in your community that God is calling you to meet?
Hi! I'm Loren Hicks. I am follower of Jesus, a husband, a father, a friend, and for the past