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I quit the ministry today. There was something about passing the 10-year mark, floundering through six months of the eleventh, and not seeing enough results. That's it. I'd had enough. I quit. It's over.

It wasn't that I stopped believing any promise, prophecy, or prediction; it's just that my old, worldly training took over.

I was trained as a manager in the world on a steady diet of MBOR—Management By Objectives and Results, zero-based budgets, and justification of a program or activity's existence. I had also attended one too many church growth seminars and outreach trainings. I wanted my time and the church's money back!

What I needed was to hear from God; He's the one who got me into this mess in the first place.

One Of Those Days
I remember Father's Day. Half the congregation was "off someplace else" and the half that was here was "off someplace else" too! You could see it in their eyes. My own son didn't even show up for church that day!

It's not like I'm trying to offend people by simply preaching the Word of God. But I still had a sermon to deliver—and as the radio talk hosts, John Boy and Billy, would say, "we got-er-dun" eventually.

People said they got a lot out of the message, but then they conveniently side-stepped any contact with visitors or newcomers. That left me and the staff to be the welcoming and friendly party…on top of the other 1,000 things we have to do on Sunday mornings. Did I mention that if the Holy Spirit was there, it's quite likely that He was "off someplace else" as well?

So, after this particular service, I went to lunch (still no sign of my son), over-ate on Mexican food, locked myself in the office, slept for two hours, woke up, assessed the results, and QUIT!

I told God, "I quit. If this was a business, we'd be out of business anyway. I love You, believe You, but I obviously have spent 10.5 years (3,833 days) spinning my wheels. I know You don't make mistakes, so I must have missed it somewhere along the way…."

And what did God do? He just laughed at me.

Right On Schedule
That's right. The Father interrupted my report on how I had failed—and laughed at me! He told me to look at the sign on my wall from Psalms 127, "Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain who build it."

I had the sign made 10.5 years ago. He said, "When you had that sign made and had that attitude, you didn't have this problem. Now you have started keeping score. Ask Me how you are doing and I'll tell you."

So I asked and He said, "Everything is right on schedule. I don't manage by objectives and results. I manage by faith and obedience. Would you practice faith and be obedient if no one ever joined your church, or if you never saw a healing or salvation? Would you remain faithful even if no one thought you had anything worth saying? Would you remain in faith and obey?

"You see, objectives are a mental exercise of man and results are something you can see. You are to walk by faith, not by sight. I have set the end from the beginning; it's a done deal. Your only job is to believe and have faith. Besides, you cannot quit the ministry; it is not what you do, it is who you are—who I made you to be.

"Enter My peace. Trust and obey, and I'll create the results. I'm glad you want to do mighty exploits for Me, but you can't—not on your own. It is My mighty arm that gets the victory. Just trust Me…you are all right with Me. I won't make anybody do anything against his or her will.

"You preach the Word in season and out. If they reject it, it is on their heads and not yours. I'm not keeping score on you, except for the faith in your heart and the obedience in your living."

So, I repented.

And then I turned around and then re-entered the ministry. I also entered into His rest.

Copyright © Church of the Fulness of God
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Author Biography

David Stuckey
Web site: The Church of the Fulness of God
 
David E. Stuckey is a native Texan, born to a small town, Southern Baptist pastor's family on June 27, 1947. He has a Bachelor of Science degree from Hardin-Simmons University in Secondary Education: Drama and Speech and is certified to teach the learning disabled. He taught special education for six years.
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