Some of you know that I love to hike and cycle. Like those of you who do big events or excursions, you know they are few and far between due to work and family—as they should be. But, when I can get out I love the beauty of the outdoors and the challenge of a long climb or ride. I have learned some things related to my participation in the events, and they have become metaphors for ministry and life. Here are a couple of them.
I have learned that challenges are best met with a team. You can’t make a summit or finish an endurance ride without the help and encouragement of others. Fellow riders, mechanics, medics and rest stop volunteers support you as you reach your goal. Ministry is similar. If you think you can complete God’s call on your life alone, you will crash or find yourself calling for help from the side of a mountain. Ministry is a team sport, and so is being equipped for ministry. Carroll Institute exists to be on your ministry support team as you complete God’s mission for you and your church.
I have learned how important preparation is to the success and enjoyment of an outing. I hopefully will complete my fifth HH100 endurance ride the last weekend in August this year. In order to survive the heat and miles outside Wichita Falls, TX in 100-degree+ temperatures and 15+ mph winds, I have ridden many more miles with friends and gone to the gym more hours than I will be on the bike that day. The enjoyment and completion of an event is directly proportional to one’s preparation for it. Ministry is similar. If all you do is go to a couple of conferences a year, listen to podcasts, and read some popular books on your favorite topic, you will come to a place in your ministry where you will “bonk.” (To bonk in athletics is to use up all your physical reserves and have no strength to continue. I believe you can bonk spiritually and emotionally, too.) A proven program of preparation for an event or your ministry will prevent you from running out of energy and seeing the worst three letters for an athlete competing in an event: DNF (Did Not Finish).
Life and ministry are endurance events. You need proven, programmed preparation and a team around you to complete them. I pray you have those in your life now. Pass this article on to a friend who may be struggling in his or her ministry and needs a partner in preparation or on-going training for ministry. Invite them to consider partnering with Carroll to get them to the finish line.
Don’t forget to join us for North Texas Giving Day on Thursday, September 17. Our goal is $150,000.00 for the day. (Last year we received $87,000.00 on that day.) Please share the information with your friends and family. Additional funds are generated for every dollar given to Carroll through the Communities Foundation of Texas.
Check out our new website! I am grateful to Jason Jones, one of our Governors, his team and our staff for the many hours of building and editing the site. Our hope is that it will help prospective and current students find their way to Carroll to equip them for God’s call on their lives.
Climbing with you, Gene