Let’s Pray More for Our Ministry Than Our Misery

Chris Brown: Misery shouldn’t kill our ministry; it should fuel it.

COVID-19 PERSPECTIVE: Chris Brown

North Coast Church, Vista, California

Let’s pray more for our ministry than to remove our misery. I am going to pray for our ministry in the midst of this time when things are kind of dark, when things are scary, when people don’t know how long of a season this is going to be or what kind of toll it is going to take.

When we look at how Jesus went through life and how the apostles went through life, we can see that maybe this is the best time to say, God, what a great time to do ministry. Use us to be love. Use us to be joy. God, use us in the midst of this. Because that is going to stick out right now.

I am not saying to stop praying for God to take this misery away. I am not super spiritual—when there is misery in my life, I ask God to take it away. But we need to pray more for our ministry. Let us be light during this time.

Misery shouldn’t kill our ministry; it should fuel it. I don’t like going through trials, but they shouldn’t stop our ministry. When do you see the light better, outside in the daylight or at night? It is the same light no matter what time it is, but you will see the light in the darkness in amazing ways.

Can you imagine having a fifth grader on a basketball team who only wants to play if the team is winning? What a lousy player. And yet, I feel for some of us, our Christianity is that way. God, I am with you when I am winning, when I am “blessed”—using my definition of being blessed: health, wealth and prosperity. When I am blessed that way, I am with you, but if I start losing, I am going to go sit on the bench.

But maybe the coach is saying, “This is where you will shine. This is where I am going to use you like no other time.”

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If a good life means no persecution or opposition, then our lives won’t always be good. What is a good life? We are going to have a lot of Christians saying, “I am not having a good life.” The problem is with their definition.

There is a difference between living a good life and a godly life. In Acts, the apostles’ definition of “good life” had changed. We’re not looking for a good life anymore—we are here to give glory to God, and that’s a game changer for everything.

The American dream and Christianity cannot coexist unless you greatly change your definition of the American dream. Instead, we need to have a kingdom dream that says, God, it’s not about the quality of my life anymore; it’s how I glorify you. And if I shine brighter in dark times, I will pray for darkness to end, but I will pray more for my ministry.

It is a definition change.

If we redefine “good life” as simply glorifying God, then life will never be bad. But if we define it as health, wealth and prosperity, most of us won’t have a good life during this time.

If our definition of good life is “I get to glorify God,” I promise you this season won’t be bad. In fact, it might be one of the best seasons we’ve ever been through. We can shine, and people will note that we’ve been with Jesus.

Read more COVID-19 Perspectives from pastors and church leaders.