I believe that all lasting ministry needs to flow out of our walk with Jesus.

It’s easy, too easy, to allow ministry to replace Jesus at the center/core of what you are all about, which is the first mistake I address in my book “Mistakes Leaders Make.”

Here are some thoughts from one of my times with the Lord.

1Timothy 1:5 & 19 (NLT)

The purpose of my instruction is that all the Christians there would be filled with love that comes from: 

  • A pure heart
  • A clear conscience
  • And sincere faith” (v. 5)

Cling tightly to your faith in Christ, and always keep your conscience clear.” (v. 19a)

So I always take pains to have a clear conscience toward both God and man.” Acts 24:16 (ESV)

1 Timothy 1:5 is one of my go-to verses as to foundational truths for my life. Developing a pure heart with right motives; keeping a clear conscience by owning my sin, repentance and confession as soon as something has been brought to my attention; cultivating a sincere, genuine faith-walk with you. 

Sincere faith (2 Corinthians 1:12): Simplicity and sincerity. Simplicity in the way I live and sincerity in the way I lead. Simplicity has to do with singleness, focus, undistracted, undiluted.

Early in my Christian walk, I was very privileged to sit under the teaching of Lorne Sanny (President of The Navigators for 30 years) being trained to be a counselor for a Billy Graham crusade. 

During one of the sessions Lorne said, “Billy Graham, more than any leader I know, consistently practices Acts 24:16.” Everyone in the audience (you could hear the Bible pages rustling) turned to see what Acts 24:16 said. Billy was quick to own his sin, to make things right in his relationships with God and people. We often refer to this as “keeping short accounts”–not letting time pass without confessing, repenting and having the difficult conversations.

I recently read The Leadership Secrets of Billy Graham and it had a lot to say by way of explaining his incredible ministry. One of his secrets is certainly practicing Acts 24:16.

When I think on my ways, I turn my feet to your testimonies; I hasten and do not delay to keep your commandments.” Psalm 119:59, 60 (ESV)

Question: How are you doing on this?  Do you point the finger and play the blame game, or do you own your mistakes and your sin by taking pains to keep a clear conscience before God and man?