A few weeks ago I "attended" a Woman Inspired on-line conference headed up by the lovely Amy Bayliss. I really enjoyed Amy's speaking so I checked out her blog and I think she is just fabulous :) I wanted to share this great lady with you all so I asked her to do a guest post and she graciously agreed... so without further ado please welcome Amy Bayliss!
Women Competing in Ministry
It is a sad truth that most of us women find ourselves on the wrong end of the true purpose in ministry. After investing time, energy, and resources we look for the fruit of our labor as if to wear it on the sleeve of the fabulous new top that we got on sale just last week at Kohls. After all, nothing spells out a woman’s worth like her accomplishments and abilities, or does it?
Is our purpose to feel worthy or to expand His kingdom?
Is our purpose to establish ourselves in the lives of others or is it to reflect the glory of our Father?
When the object of our desires is to help ourselves and not His children then we have lost our way and we are headed straight for burnout. Let me let you in on a little secret. God makes us competent. He makes us worthy. It has nothing to do with us and when we exclude Him from the picture then we truly come to the end of ourselves.
Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God.
2 Corinthians 3:5
Not long ago I was caught in this trap. I operated a blog that had an above average following and a steady incline but it wasn’t enough for me. I wanted more hits and more readers. That would, in my mind, make me as good as other well known bloggers and then I would feel like I am making a difference. Then I would have worth.
Oh boy, do you feel the Holy Spirit talking? He sure did have a word with me.
After putting out what I deemed to be four great solid posts and getting only an average of 2 comments each and no increase in regular readers, I quit. I didn’t want to do it anymore. I believed that without those crucial elements that I had no victory. The sad thing is that I had made it all about me.
I prayed and asked God to reveal some things to me. I asked Him to change my heart and open my eyes and He did. I began to receive email after email asking, “Is everything okay? Where have you been?” I was told stories of how this post or that post had truly spoken to someone or how the words I had written lead some to repentance. God let me know that what He inspired me to write had value. But He also showed me that it was for His glory and not mine.
You see when we compete in ministry we always lose. Our God is a God of love and love is not self seeking (1 Corinthians 13). We have to love each other enough to give of ourselves in ministry without expecting anything in return. We have to work together and reach across boundaries that had previously been set in place. If you don’t think you can help someone then refer them to someone who can even if it increases their numbers and not yours.
In the end, it is all about the one. It is about Him. His number is the only one that matters.
I gave up that blog and began a new one. One that focused on helping others succeed in online ministry. I made a decision to not show my feed number even though it was much better than the previous blog and even though on some days it kills my flesh not to. Now don’t go removing your feed numbers. This is a decision I made based on my convictions. My reasons for this are simple. I don’t ever want someone to visit my blog and think they have to compete with me to have self worth. Instead, I’d like to inspire them to be all that God intended for them to be and express it in the way He orchestrated for them. We are not all called to be bible scholars. We aren’t all called to be frugal home designers. We aren’t all called to be hilarious mega bloggers.
You are called to be you. God has certain people in mind that can be guided and inspired by you and there may also be others that He simply wants you to redirect to someone else. We are a team. There is a reason why all of heaven rejoices when a soul is saved. We all play our part. Don’t get so caught up in being an understudy that you miss the role call for the chance to let your light shine.
You can read more from Amy on her personal blog- AmyBayliss.com . Thanks so much Amy!