“All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No'” –Matthew 5:37a
In the last post, we covered the topic of dividing issues. This week, we will be going over the subject of commitment. What it means for your and your partner.
In your walk with Christ, your relationship is defined by your commitment to Him, His Word, and living the way He wants us to. In sports, your level of commitment often makes or breaks your reputation on a team. The same principles of commitment apply to learning music and even relationships with other people. You have to be committed to succeed, improve, or see results. If you are not committed in your walk with Christ, you will not get to know Him better.
In the same way, your commitment to your partner in your ministry describes how you stick with it. Commitment can be defined as “stick to it-ness.” Sounds cheesy, I know. Believe me. But it’s true. If you are committed to something, you will stick with it even when it gets tough or isn’t convenient. One of the fruits of the Spirit is perseverance or endurance. God wants us to stick with something if we commit to it. Unless, of course, that thing is pushing us away from Him.
What level of commitment do you have towards your walk with Christ and your outreach? Unless God tells you otherwise, it is ok to start out not doing a lot! However, it is expected that you stick with what you commit to. One of the worst mistakes you can make in starting a ministry with someone else is over-committing. If you asked me if I had trouble with over-commitment, I would respond, “Does the sun rise?” That’s yes, just in case you didn’t pick that up! Part of our problem with over-commitment is the desire to do too much, or thinking that we have more time than we do. Sorry folks, there are still only 24 hours in a day. I’ve found that out the hard way. If God is calling you to start or join a ministry, only commit to what you know you can do. It sure isn’t a good representation of Christ if you commit to do something, and then you end up not doing it. In my opinion, it’s “better safe than sorry.” I apply that method to this new adventure of driving. Waiting 5-10 more seconds is not worth risking my life to turn out in front of a car. Applying this to ministry, it’s better to commit to the little that you know you can do than to commit to the bigger “workload” that you think you can. If it turns out that you have more time than you thought, you can gradually increase the load. This is much better than shooting for the moon and not leaving the ground.
Side note #1:
Just a quick not- before you start with a ministry for others, make sure that you’re fully committed to Christ. If you’re not committed to your walk with Christ, there’s not way you can be committed to telling others about Him. Simple, right? Wanted to make sure that we got that out there. Christ needs to be our priority. All else falls behind that.
Many people will enter ministry with the wrong mindset regarding commitment. Few go into it saying, “I’m sticking with it no matter what comes up.” In fact, this isn’t only a problem in this area. This issue plagues marriages. Commitment problems are all over the place, and having a reputation for sticking with whatever you start is a huge asset. What is your view towards commitment? What are you going to do when people leave your group and you lose support?
First off, your faith needs to be in Christ, not in those you are working with. I’m preaching to myself more than anyone. If you’re like me, when people disagree with you, you kinda start to panic. Well, that’s not great! If (like me) you have experienced this through a ministry, you have to keep the right focus. We’re not doing this to get praise, and that’s a lot easier to say than to do or feel. We need to be doing this so that Christ gets all of the glory.
Second, when you commit, you’re in it for however long you’re committed for. When you commit to something, you need to stick with it when it stinks. You need to stick with it when it is inconvenient. I’ve been committed to many things specifically with Wyatt and Collin. And you know what? There were (and are) times that I don’t…feel…like…doing…anything. But what I’ve learned is that when you commit to something, you are promising yourself and your “services” to whatever you’re working on. Hopefully you didn’t bite off more than you could chew! I’ve done that a million times, and somehow still haven’t learned my lesson completely. Maybe someday!
“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” -1 Corinthians 10:31
God tells us (through Paul) to do all, everything that we do for the glory of God. Let me ask you: if God was physically here with you and you committed to something with Him, would He get stood up by your lack of commitment to Him? Everything we do is for the glory of God. We need to stick with what we commit to because we are committing to Christ.
It’s going to be hard. Charles Stanley said, “Too many Christians have a commitment of convenience. They’ll stay faithful as long as it’s safe and doesn’t involve risk, rejection, or criticism. Instead of standing alone in the face of challenge or temptation, they check to see which way their friends are going.” How committed are you? Again, I’m preaching to myself here.
If you have committed to ministry with others, communicate your commitment to those you’re working with as soon as you commit. It will hold you accountable for your actions, and it lets them know what to expect from you. When you know people expect a certain level of something from you, you know that you are being held to a standard. And when someone joins you, ask them to tell you their level of commitment. Don’t force too much on them- you don’t want them to over-commit. But that level of accountability is vital.
Example from the Past:
Ok, so now to the humorous example(s) of how I’ve learned all of this! I’ve been on both sides of the coin, so I will present both scenarios.
The first scenario takes us all the way back to 2010 (?). There we were, three boys with very little musical talent attempting to start a band. Ignoring the wisdom of our parents, we thought we had what it took to be big time for Jesus. It was Wyatt on the violin, Collin on the piano, and I was lead guitar. And then we got into a “disagreement” about lead singer. Was it kinda silly? Yes. Did that help matters? No.
Anyway, we had all committed that we were going to do this thing and do it right. We even signed contracts that we wrote up that tied us to the “band.” Well, it went nowhere. And it went nowhere because I jumped ship, and then they followed. Looking in the rear view mirror, it was a bad idea in the first place and it wasn’t going to work out. But I committed and then jumped ship. Not the way to handle it. Knowing that all of us were starting to second guess the idea, we should’ve held an official band meeting and dispersed the band. But, whatever. Can’t undo anything.
Hopefully you were able to see how that was the wrong way to handle that commitment. The second scenario involved a website (mbforchrist.weebly.com) that Wyatt and I felt that God had called us into. Well, in this case, Wyatt was the one who had over committed. He had a move coming up and had underestimated how that would affect his ability to work on the site. So, I did almost all of the website because of his busy schedule. Now, if he had not been involved with the move, I’m positive that we would’ve shared a more equal load of work. It was bad timing, and unfortunately, neither one of us recognized the trouble that was being posed.
This week, if you have committed to something, do it for the glory of God. That is your calling if you are a Christian. Don’t give up when the going gets tough. It will, but God will always be there. He will never leave or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). Your commitment to things you take up says a lot about your character. Is God pleased with your level of commitment?