More than pretty

More than pretty 

in german since 2015

More than pretty is running very succefully in the german language since January 2015. 

More than pretty has pub-lished more than 100 blogs from many different female leaders from the german speaking Europe.  

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God is faithful and at work! This truth still applies in difficult times! If we have our feet deep in the soil of ministry and leadership, then we can’t avoid the experience of hardship. I love to read biographies of missionaries or go to encouraging conferences, where people share the wonderful things that God is doing – of course, often through them. Yes, I do get inspiration from their lives! Yet sometimes it is also frustrating. Most of the time I only hear their success stories. Frustrations and hardship is not really a topic on stage. Listening to these inspiring people can create an expectation that if we are close to Jesus, we need to be fruitful all the time!

 

In ministry, I have my own expectations, dreams and limitations. The way I experience “mission, evangelism or raising leaders”, isn’t like an echo, that immediately returns to me as it reverberates around a mountain! My words, my love and my investment are sometimes swallowed like a sound that reaches a soft cushion - and nothing bounces back; at least for a while, or even for a couple of years. Do we have the faithfulness in ministry to wait for a couple of years to see change?   Yeah, I know this is a difficult question in our world, where everything needs to go fast.

 

Looking back and reflecting over my past 5 years in mission in South Africa, I realized that God took me on a journey into the desert. He allowed me to experience hardship, isolation and seasons of unfruitfulness. This was painful. I felt the unspoken pressure from people and leaders around me, to be ‘successful’ - to see people healed, saved, baptized and raised as leaders in our chosen mission field. I also faced my own expectation to see fruits in ministry. It did not work as fast as I had hoped. To invest into a broken community is a long walk, and raising leaders who are sustainable may be a task for a longer period of time.

 

Recently I read a great quote. “Success is being faithful in what God told you to do”. Yes I agree. But if you are faithful, there is a lot of perseverance and also frustration involved. 

Over the past couple of years, I have been reflecting on and observing the way we treat ‘failure’, hardship and faithfulness in ministry. It seems that often ‘numbers’ are celebrated more than faithfulness in our Christian circles. 

I needed God’s touch in my life, to be able to recognize the journey of healing and freedom God took me on. He used my desert season to teach me what he thinks about ministry and faithfulness.

 

Even in the past weeks, I discovered again, that we can’t control the process of spiritual growth around us and we don’t need to do it. We “only” plant seeds and take care of the plants. God will cause them to grow, and people will make their own decisions.

 

Even in the past weeks, I discovered again, that we can’t control the process of spiritual growth around us and we don’t need to do it. We “only” plant seeds and take care of the plants. God will cause them to grow, and people will make their own decisions.

If people fall back, they fall back. We can’t drag them back to God. We only can pray!

In my daily life and ministry, my dependency on the presence of the Holy Spirit has grown much deeper.  I know he is the only one who can save, heal and restore my beloved community. This truth is setting me free, to be close to Jesus, pray for change and being a faithful servant in his kingdom and leave all the rest to him. 

 

But what does this mean practically in my daily life? I am convinced we should chase for excellence, being fully available with our lives as we ask God for big dreams and visions. We shouldn’t limit what God has in store for a community, our church or our sphere of influence. I never want to be defined by my frustrations or the hardships I’ve experienced. If I did that, I might give up or move on.  A key for me is to dig deep into the word of God, to see his thoughts about myself and the people around me. This truth defines my life and guides my hope and my expectations for what God is doing - and it keeps me going! 

 

Yes, God is faithful and at work; in me and around me!

 

 

 

Mail to Doris Lindsay 

 

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