A Message to Young Ministers

Ps Jeremy Barkley

“Trust in the Lord, and lean not on your own understanding but in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:5-6).

Life is full of processes and promotions. Recently I encountered a promotion in the natural that I had previously viewed as one reserved for others, and not myself. I turned 40! I know, I know… I look 28, and it’s hard to believe such a young strapping man could actually be “middle age.”

In this season of life I find myself in constant reflection, desiring to help young, aspiring pastors, leaders, and believers find the straight path for their lives and calling.

Below are just a few of the Kingdom principles that have defined my life and calling over the recent months and years. So aspiring ministers of the gospel, do yourselves and your flock a favor as you lead in the learning…

1. Identity is everything.

Know who you are in Christ before trying to find your identity in your profession. Too many young ministers are seeking affirmation, and in so doing, they sabotage their assignment.

2. Know your enemy.

As a coach, I realized that a significant amount of time was spent not only polishing your own team’s game plan… but just as much was spent in preparation for your opponent. Ministry is more than preaching, coffee, and storytelling. It is spiritual warfare against rulers and principalities within the supernatural world. Grow in your spiritual authority. Claim and apply the blood of Jesus over your entire life and ministry! Teach others to do the same. We have enough gifted communicators who are weak warriors. Strengthen yourself in the Lord.

3. Fix your focus.

Grow in Kingdom principles over ministry strategies. Whatever your magnify, you will receive more of: intimacy, honor, humility, righteousness. The Lord blesses these things.

4. Sow and seek.

Gifts are important, but fruit is essential. Growing in the Spirit means sowing in the Spirit! Seek to bear fruit, and your gifts will automatically develop in maturity.

5. Remember the source.

Culture is not your authority; the Word of God is. Never sacrifice time in the Word for appearances within the culture.

Always remember, even in the midst of leading, great leaders never cease being led. Submit to the Lord, and get under a mentor ASAP… and stay there. Push up on others and receive, and the blessings flow down. ♦

Jeremy Barkley
Associate/Youth Pastor