By Paul Tripp
As a leader, you must grasp that God didn’t put you in your position to give you identity. Your ministry is not your identity. Ministry is done best by people who have a firm grasp on who they are in Christ. Ministry loses its purpose when you make it about meeting your own needs rather than seeking to meet the needs of others.
You must be honest with yourself by asking if you’re asking of people that you lead to give you what you’ve already been given in Christ. In Christ, you have received an identity, a purpose, a sense of well-being, and the courage to continue. You never get your ability to lead from the people you were called to lead.
An Ongoing Identity Crisis
The issue of identity is not one that you solve once and are done with forever. Identity issues will continue to rear their head throughout your ministry. Continually remind yourself of your purpose, your calling, and where your identity is truly rooted.
There will always be detractors in your ministry. There will always be people who simply aren’t enamored with you and who disagree with you. If you’re looking for people to provide for you an inner peace and your motivation to continue, disagreement becomes a huge distraction to what God has called you to do.
Continually Look to Christ
God hasn’t called you to ministry to establish a sense of meaning and purpose. God called you to live in the identity, peace, meaning, and purpose of His grace so that you’re free to give yourself to ministry and free from asking people to give to you what they were never meant to give.
Ministry to a fallen world is hard. Misplaced identity can be destructive to ministry. Don’t look to your ministry for it to do what it was never intended to do. Look to your Savior and minister in freedom.