Hey guys! It’s been a while, I’m going through a a season of new, if you will. So new job, new site design, new content, new projects etc. Please be patient with me as I update my website. Anyway, I wanted to speak on this subject for months now and with my 6 year anniversary of my initial sermon and going into ministry yesterday, that’s exactly what I did. I jumped on Facebook live and spoke on my experience and now I’m going to share it on the blog! *Note, this is my experience, o*
I didn’t want to live under the expectation of others.
When we even think of the word “preacher, minster or pastor” we immediately have a picture of what they look like as well as a list of their character traits. Honestly, I didn’t want to live under the same pressure, trying hard to be blameless so I wouldn’t look hypocritical and give people ammunition in their case against God and who He chooses. I found myself carefully censoring my words and neutralizing my thoughts to try avoid offending anyone at all times. I felt responsible for others choosing God it became too much to bear. So, I’d emotionally abandon myself because I felt I contaminated ministry. I know….it’s a lot!
I was afraid to see how my life would change.
Once we become saved, we commit to die to the ways of the world, despite our enjoyment of them. I knew my sex life would come to an end, my friends wouldn’t feel comfortable around me anymore and I’d have to change my wardrobe to a more modest look. I knew the topical changes that needed to happen but I had no idea how the rest of my life would change and I was afraid I’d hate it. Come one, most of us has been there before, we believe the Christian experience is void of all things fun and exciting. After all, asking people about their relationship with Jesus doesn’t seem fun and at the time, I believed my sin was fun; half the time I didn’t see the sin in my fun. Once I became serious about my convictions, I had no desire to do those things anymore. Yet as a minister, I put so much pressure on myself, to be a role model to an audience I wasn’t called to, just in case they were looking. I wasn’t being authentically me in my posture as Christ representative. In my worship, in my messages and sermons I was authentic and it wasn’t well received everywhere and that’s where we’re going next.
I knew I wouldn’t be accepted everywhere.
I was raised in the church. The southern baptist church, Missionary baptist to be exact. Where shouting, fainting and anointing lines were prevalent, as well as intense shouting and sweating preachers took the pulpit each Sunday to deliver a heavy word for sinners to come running to God. Well, here I am, a 24 year old, fresh out of college, changed my clothes, vocabulary and challenging other habits mentally, coming to stand behind the sacred desk to deliver what “Thus saith the Lord.” When I opened my mouth, I taught, I talked, I spoke. I didn’t yell, I had no fire and brimstone and coming from a church and living in an area that was accustomed to that kind of delivery, the congregants didn’t know what to do with me at first. With more speaking engagements to come, I stayed true to my genuine form of delivery and because my sermons didn’t end in riffs and a praise break, the people were silent. Yes, it was awkward!! I’d give what God gave me and I’d sit down and cry because I thought I had disappointed God because the people didn’t seem excited or accept the message.
What I’ve learned
Overall, I was just starting out and was confused about so much. When I asked questions about how to minister effectively or how to align my life with Christ, I mainly got church colloquialisms. Looking back on that, I’m glad no one could give me answers to those questions because I’d become expectant of the wrong thing and it would’ve halted my ability to see God move in those areas. Yes, the clothes, the hookah, the endless shots, late night visits changed. Yet, God wanted changed so much more about me according to his purpose for me. At the time All I could focus on was wanting as much to remain the same as possible, but I couldn’t change and my life and those in could treat me the same. I learned that although my delivery may not have been accepted everywhere, it was effective, young people still got saved and wanted salvation after those sermons in where I thought I failed God.
I had measured it ALL WRONG! Effectiveness isn’t measured by accolades, but by results. I based my relationship with Christ on the appreciation of the people and so I ended up worshiping the people instead of my God. That was the biggest aspect that caused the most challenge. After a while, I did get into a steady rhythm, after I repented for choosing the people of God; after that moment, I became stronger and more comfortable in my ministry. There’s so much more to the story, I can’t tell it all, but these aspects were the forefront and I pray you’ve learned something for your own life, gifting, ministry or business. Thanks for reading!
Wow!!!! This. Blessed. Me. !!!!!!!!
You have NO IDEA how much!!! I subscribed to your blog through a comment you made in the Writing for Ministries FB group. I love your posts. I read many of them. I love your delivery and transparency. I love that you keep it real.
I’ve been blogging since last August. I’ve been seeking God for direction and calling. He’s revealing preaching to me. My first reaction was “NO, NO, NO, NO, NO”!!!! For some of the exact reasons you said. I grew up as a PK in the south…missionary Baptist, so I’ve been exposed to the ins and outs of ministry and seen good and bad. The desire so many have for the title without the desire for authenticity and submission to God deeply disturbs me and makes me afraid to be associated with the title (if that makes sense). And then the expectations…😩😩😩. God has been dealing with me on that for a few years now, but more intensely over the past few months. I haven’t made my calling public yet, but I can already feel/relate to what you said on expectations. I know I’m different and I feel called to be a different kind of preacher. So THANK YOU for this post!!! Thank you for learning the lessons and sharing them. Keep moving, Sis!!! You’re a blessing to the body of Christ!! The world needs the authentic you! Keep shining bright!!
Grateful for you! Melanie Norris
You have no idea how your comment has blessed me!!! Thank you for your feedback and coming from someone who already relates to my experience is priceless! I’m praying for you during your journey and if you ever want to connect or talk, even need extra encouragement, I’m here! Bless you sis and thank you!