The Call to Endure by Mark Driscoll
Many of the letter in the New Testament end with a commission to continue.
Matt 28:20, Gal 6:9, Eph 6:18, Col 4:2, 2 Thes 3:13, 1 Tim 4:18, James 5:7-8, 1 Peter 5:12, 2 Peter 3:17, Jude 24-25
All of these scriptures end with a challenge to persevere in the great commission. The Gospels and remainder of the New Testament close with the charge to keep moving forward.
Practical ways to Endure
Have the humility to learn and glean wisdom from every great leader.
We need to be intentional on finishing the race well. We need to have a goal and aspire to achieve that goal. We need to pursue our calling at all costs with full integrity.
Though the Bible calls us to finish the race well in order to hear “well done” and few will!
1. We need to watch our life & doctrine closely
Get your losses out of the way young. Work hard to seasoned and sanctified while you are young. If not you will fail late in life and it will cost you far more.
Your character begins to set early and will calcify over time. Deal with the issues early so you will not be set in the wrong areas for life!
Endure in your Spirituality. You need time for silence and solitude with God! Make it a practice of life. In today’s world the noise of life is so addictive we cannot survive without it. Sometimes we need to run off all of our technology and spend that time with Jesus. It must be intentional and purposeful.
It is in the moments of solitude and silence we get clarity of vision and direction. We must make this a priority in our ministries. This will give us the ability to endure.
Minister from your life, Do Not make ministry your life! Minister to your wife, walk with your people, and live life the way God intended it.
Do not make ministry your idol. Do not let your ministry become the primary focus of your life. Make sure your family is first and your walk with God is primary. Do you do ministry out of spite for God. Ministry can be the one idol that is blessed by other Christians!
Do not let your ministry remove you from the life that God intended for you. Love Jesus, don’t use Him for a living! Shepherd your own soul before shepherding others.
2. We need to endure Physically
Make sure you take care of you health and your body. Do not become lazy and content. Also, do not become the “superman” who feels no need to care for your self.
You need time for rest. You need to make sure you get rest, renewal and a Sabbath discipline.
You must take your day off. Keep this day sacred.
You need a true vacation! Not a speaking engagement or conference. A time away with your phone off.
Make sure you get plenty of exercise. Make sure you maintain the temple that God has entrusted to you.
Maintain your health through regular check-ups and treatments.
If you’re a pastor, you have no pastor! Your wife becomes your pastor. Make sure your wife guards you. Make sure you let your wife guard you. Let your wife love you and minister to you. Let her nurture you and push you to grow. Let her meet your needs, as you meet everyone else’s.
3. Endure in Your Marriage
Your second priority behind your relationship with God is a Godly relationship with your wife.
The idea that if you care for the church God will care for your family….it’s a Demonic lie!
Make your wife and family a higher priority than ministry and the church! If that does not happen, other people will destroy your family. Then you will have to destroy yourself in order to save them.
Be sure that you set boundaries that make your family a priority.
Define your wife’s role and guard it carefully. There is no Pastors’ wife role in Scriture! Your wife does not need to have any responsibility in the church. This is especially true if you have children who need their mother. There should be no demands on a pastor’s wife! She is a wife not a pastor!
Sync your life with your wife first. Make sure you have a battle plan for your family, not just your church. Set a date night and time together.
Let your wife be the helper that God created her to be. But, define her role for you. She is your helper, not the church’s helper. Let her do the things that she was created to do, she is there to minister to you. As you let her do that and make her a priority, she will feel completed.
Somebody can do everything else in the church. No one else can be the pastors wife! No one else can sleep with the pastor, but his wife!
4. Endure as a Parent!
Make sure that your kids become a huge priority in your life. Realize that God entrusted our kids to us before the church! Children are a higher priority than the church God has called us to.
No one else can be your kids’ father but you. Anyone else can pastor your church!
Don’t let anyone else impose things on your kids. Don’t let anyone intrude on the time and privacy of your family. Guard your family. Be sure that you are not controlled by the fear of man….A People Pleaser!
Make sure that you are not controlled by technology in such a manner that you cannot disconnect to spend time with your children.
You do not need to be so accessible that your family suffers! Guard your time.
5. Endure Theologically
Don’t cave in to the fundamentalist or the liberals. Make sure you stand your ground. Do not compromise the truth of the Gospel and the character of Jesus. The Gospel calls ALL people to repent and calls sin, sin. Do NOT Compromise on this.
You call religious people to repent of religiosity and sinner to repent of sin. Then get ready to be shot by those on both sides!
Do not ever let up on the truth of who Jesus is and what He represents as the Gospel. Make sure that you work out your salvation by fear a trembling….Phil 2:12-13
1 Cor 9…..Contextualize the truth to compel as many people as possible to worship Jesus
Jude say we must contend for the faith
You must do both of these to survive!
6. Endure Financially
Make sure you are wise and careful with your money. Two pitfalls arise….Too much or Too little money. Make sure that ministry allows you to support your family first and then your church.
Scripture tells us that a man who cannot provide for his family is worse than a non-believer! We were burdened through Adam to provide for our families….We will labor in weeds and thistles!
7. Endure Emotionally
Make sure you do the things that give you a charge and renew your spirit and energy.
If you’re a introvert, people will not energize you. If you’re a extrovert, people will give you a charge.
Make sure you know how to deal with your critics. If you have no critics, you’re not preaching the Gospel
Realize that people will criticize you. Turn your critics into coaches. What can you take away & what can you throw away?
Never respond to your critics on their terms. Be careful and sound.
Do not react in anger and frustration. Make sure you temper yourself and react through prayer and patience!
Sometimes you need to ignore your critics, not engage them on their terms.
Have a plan and idea of how to handle critics before they become an issue.
Know the size of your plate, then fill it. If it’s big, put a lot on it. If it’s small, put little on it. Use your plate to prioritize. Do not stack your plate.
If you are diligent in knowing what you can and cannot handle, it will destroy you. You must make sure you know what you can and cannot do. This will guard you from total breakdown.
If we do not endure emotionally, it will cost us everything that we have. Guard yourself at all costs!
8. Endure relationally
You will have to work overtime to keep your relationships healthy. Building a church with friends will not be easy. You cannot be your friends’ boss. The two things do not miss.
Don’t live for the mythical day when you get a mentor. Some will have it, some will not. If you have a mentor, be blessed and thank God.
Build a bullpen of guys who can help you, advise you and support you. These are people who will be there when you call. They are you support team and wisdom resource.
To endure is to become a sanctified version of yourself. You do not need to be like anyone else. Be the very man God has called you to be. Don’t try to be anybody you are not. Realize that you need to grow and mature in the person God has created you to be.
Those who don’t endure are those who don’t repent. The key to endurance is repentance!
You cannot just teach repentance, you need to demonstrate repentance in your life!
If you want to endure, repent well.