Learning to finish well

Serving on the girls ministry team at Lifeway and being in ministry at the same place for 13+ years affords me some great opportunities to encourage those who have just found themselves in the brand spanking new position of girls minister.
It’s always fun for me to get to sit down with a new girls minister and finally get to the part where they are willing to share their struggles. Sometimes, the honeymoon period is still in play and everything seems perfect. But a few months in, usually the newness wears off and the reality of the job sets in. Now, I don’t want everyone to have a bad situation. I just want people to realize that girls ministry is hard. It’s really rewarding, AND it is hard.
Today, I had a conversation with a friend who has served at a location for less than a year. She confided in me some of her struggles. I told her I’d pray and then I found myself texting these words:
“it’s never always awesome anywhere”.
Now that’s a horribly constructed sentence, but it captures my point perfectly.

No matter where you serve, it will not be 100% awesome all the time. And guess what…it’s not 100% awesome at the other girl’s minister’s church down the road or across the state or across the country. Everyone has something that is not awesome going on. In fact, even I know what it’s like to serve in a season of not awesome. And for those seasons, The Lord has reminded me of two words. FINISH WELL

You may be saying, “FINISH WELL? But I just started.”
I had no idea that I would be at my current church for the years that I am serving. But I think I would have quit a long time ago had I not remembered “the end” in the midst of my “not awesome” season.
I wanted to be see my very last day as a day where I could walk away and know that I had finished well what God had called me to. And as I considered what it would look like in the future, I had to consider what it would look like for the present day I was living.
And some days I wanted to quit so bad, that I made a contract with God. I would say…”okay, I’m working as a girls minister until this date and then I want to reconsider the arrangement.”

It’s funny how God would send just the right encouragement on those days that helped me renegotiate a contract extension to keep being the girls minister.

There are several passages in scripture that speak to how we are to finish well. One that I have been focusing on recently has been this one:

But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God. Acts 20:24

friend…wherever you are in ministry, if you are reading this know that you can finish well today..finish well this week…finish well this month…finish well this year…if you remember that your course and the ministry is not given to you by the church or by your boss or by yourself…it is given to you by the Lord Jesus. You serve Him.

I’m guessing sometime in your time as a girls minister, you will have a boss you may not jive with. It’s okay…
You ultimately serve Jesus so keep serving Him well. And pray pray pray for your heart to not grow bitter towards the one you may not be jiving with.

I know that for me personally, the sanctification process that has happened in my heart as God has combined my position with others through the years that I may not have jived with has been more than I could ever have imagined. And I hated those moments and yet I am the person I am today because I went through those moments.

I realized that He is finishing me well. He uses people that are like sand paper to rub off those areas that need to be grinded down and refined. It hurts while you are going through it but it really strengthens your relationship with Christ if you begin to surrender those relationships to Him.

So…as we move through these tough ministry days, remember: “it’s never always awesome anywhere” so take each day and ask The Lord to remind you to finish well on that day. And when you wake up the next day…guess what—finish well. And just like your shampoo instructions: RINSE and REPEAT:)

Praying for you friend. In the trenches together.

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