Students whom I am teaching and mentoring at Indiana Bible College often ask, “What ministry principles have you used that have served you well?” I suspect that ministry principles are affected by personalities, but shouldn’t every minister have ministry principles that he or she is accountable to? Following are some that I have found to be of great benefit in my 60 years of ministry:
- Dream a BIG dream! Cast a vision, set goals, make a plan, and “go for it!” Never give up!
- Building men is more important than building a program, a ministry reputation or a church. Mentoring for the future is crucial.
- Affirmation is more effective than criticism or control. People rise to their highest level when you affirm and praise them when they do well, and when you let them know you believe in them.
- Recognize, identify and appreciate each one’s calling and gifting because all are important in the Kingdom of God. It is the responsibility of a good leader and mentor to assess and assist each one in finding their place in ministry so they can succeed.
- Trust. When people can say, “I know my leader will always do the right thing,” true trust has been established.
- “Advice not asked for is seldom received.” A voice heard often is often ignored. I discipline myself to listen well.
- Keep good notes. When those you work with realize you keep detailed notes, they will be thoughtful before challenging your facts or your memory.
- Be accountable and respect leadership. Respect and accountability are best learned when those we mentor see us as an example.
- Always see the “big picture.” It is easy to focus on small things that will benefit us personally. But in ministry we must continually look beyond ourselves and consider what is best for others and the Kingdom of God.
- Someone wrote, “In the end, success is obeying God and having those closest to me love and respect me the most.” This is my passion for ministry.
Robert K. Rodenbush has built a home missions church, served as a missionary for UPCI Global Missions for 42 years, served on the UPCI General Board 20 years, served on the Global Missions Board 40 years and was inducted into the UPCI “Order of the Faith” in 2015. He is currently Dean of Missiology at Indiana Bible College, training the next general of Apostolic missionaries. A book by William D. Turner, They Said Yes, has been written about the life and ministry of the Rodenbushes and is available from Voice and Vision, Calvary Tabernacle, Indianapolis, IN (317-262-4030)