I remember my ordination. It was some 8-9 years ago. My Pastor had different men from around the community and from our church that had been in the ministry for decades. All of those men were ordained pastors who served in different ministries and churches. They all had experienced things that I have yet to experience. Before the end of my ordination, my pastor asked each man to give me some advice. This was invaluable! I learned about ministry, marriage, and just life in general from the men around that table.
I think in some ways, deputation is like an ordination council, in that you have the opportunity each Sunday morning, Sunday night, and Wednesday night with men who have experienced what the young missionary hasn’t. This post is the beginning of a new series entitled, “Here Is Some Advice”. Over the next few weeks and month, I am going to endeavor to share with you some of the advice I have been given by these men. At times it may not be verbal, but exemplified (as in today’s post).
Here Is Some Advice: Take Advice/Critique/Evaluation.
I was in a mission conference recently where the pastor handed out to each missionary an “evaluation form”. He anticipated our thoughts. We are on deputation trying to raise support, any “evaluating” would be like “biting the hand that is considering to feed you”. Pastor quickly told us this is in an attempt to make them better. He wanted us as missionaries to evaluate the specifics of the conference so that it can be improved. This man is pastoring a spectacular church, a growing, thriving ministry. People are excited. The vision could not be made clearer. Pastor is incredibly organized and focused as well as very seasoned in the ministry. So what was going on in my mind was this question, “Why would a man that is so much more experienced and proven than we are ever take advice from lesser men who have not come close to where he is?” The answer is that he knew that the way to improve is to be able to take advice on how to do things differently/better.
What does the Bible say?
- A wise man will take advice. Proverbs 19:20 says, “Hear counsel, and receive instruction, that thou mayest be wise in thy latter end.”
- A wise man will become wiser because of advice given. Proverbs 9:9 says, “Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.”
- A wise man will even learn from those who are unwise. Proverbs 24:30-32 says, “I went by the field of the slothful, and by the vineyard of the man void of understanding; And, lo, it was all grown over with thorns, and nettles had covered the face thereof, and the stone wall thereof was broken down. Then I saw, and considered it well: I looked upon it, and received instruction.”
Receiving such advice will make you better. What gets in the way? Our pride. We think we are above any criticism that we will not allow anyone an opportunity. But I learned this from the pastor I was with, grow by others sharpening you.
Here is some advice, learn to take advice/critiques/evaluations from others.