Don’t Seek the Spotlight (but don’t sit still)

I meet a lot of people with aspirations for ministry.  Lots of people would love to make a difference.  People go to conferences, workshops, and read blogs on how to grow their platforms.  I think we might have missed the point. 

I am constantly speaking to frustrated people.  I hear people say, “I just wish I knew my purpose…what am I supposed to be doing?”  If you really get down to it, most people think the lack of opportunity is the problem.  They really believe that if they could just get their big break, or the right job offer, or the correct platform, then everything would be ok.  They are wrong.  (I’ve been “they” on many occasions.) 

Seeking the platform leads me on a pursuit over which I have no control.  I cannot bend the future to my will.  I can’t make someone give me the job, the microphone, or the ministry position - especially if all I’m doing is resenting the people who have the job (a common trap for millennials). 

Ok.  So if seeking the platform doesn’t work, what will?  Seek the message?  I’ve seen a lot of well meaning people fall into this misguided pursuit.  Men and women try to figure out how to put “their stamp” on the Gospel. I remember in college, I did a message on dating called “The Wonder Bridge.”  For a while, I believed that was my message.  I would use that package of information to open doors to more platforms of ministry.  Here’s the only problem, even the best packaged products grow stale over time. 

Where does that leave those who want to serve God?  What are we supposed to seek?  It’s pretty obvious when we ask the question like that.  We are called to seek the source - that well of life that will never run dry.  When we go seeking our King and His Kingdom, we will always find the message.  When we come into contact with the mighty, untamed, Lion of Judah we will walk away changed.  As we grow in our wisdom, we will gain insight on how others can be impacted by what God is doing in us.  When we have a message worth sharing, God always gives the platform. 

When we seek Jesus first, and receive his message, we are more content with the platform He gives.  We’re no longer measured by the size and scope of our audience.  We are successful based on how faithful we are to our God and to His message.  This, in a nutshell, is ministry.  Everything else is performance.  If you are called to “ministry,” you are called to relentlessly seek His Kingdom, fearlessly trust His provision, and unashamedly share His Word.  That’s your purpose.  Now go live it.  Nothing is stopping your pursuit of God…except you.  And believe me, He is worth the chase.

Aaron is the pastor of Spring of Life, a new church in Portland, Oregon. He's the owner of Amplify Creative.