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Running and Ministry

Not every run will turn out okay. Running is a metaphor, an adjective, and a goal and discipline-maker. As a high school student, I wasn’t athletic. I hated running. All I wanted to do was sit on the bleachers under the warm California sun and read. Running happened almost three years ago when I so desperately wanted to do something different with my life; break the mundane. Do something crazy.

Running happened because someone believed I could do it (you know who you are!). It became part of my spiritual life, a creative expression, a longing to embrace the outdoors. On Saturday, I ran my peak run a few weeks from the Whiskey Row Marathon (20 miles) and it was the worst run ever.

If a friend had driven by and offered me a ride, I would have taken it that day, and called YMCA to downgrade my run from a full to a half marathon. When the emotions and pain subsided, I realized that I did finish 20 miles. The very act of just finishing a difficult task is worship. Following the Lord in what He has called you to do is like running that 20 miles. It is obedience.

Training requires consistency. You can’t train sometimes and only when you feel like it. For a marathon, you have a regiment of regular running, specified miles, so you are prepared for the real thing. When I think of bad runs, I think how ministry requires consistency and planning.

Many times a ministry will fail, not because the idea was bad or it was against God’s will, but because of lack of preparation, discipline, or consistency. A ministry cannot run on a few volunteers. Volunteers must embrace the vision and mission of the ministry and be “sold” on its message. Like running, ministry requires patience as you train to get there.

I’m praying that my run on May 14 will be good in spite of the struggle to train just like I pray your ministry will succeed with unlimited energy to produce great results, but not be results-driven.

Have a great day, friends!