Tuesday, July 11, 2017

The Inner Workings of My Heart and Mind

As you know, I've been seeking your input on what you like and don't like about Dana Rongione Ministries, and the reason I've done that is because I feel some decisions need to be made to make the ministry as effective as possible.  For the past year, I've felt the Lord urging me to expand the ministry, or at the very least, opening up doors for expansion.  In my mind, however, expanding the ministry meant adding more things:  videos, podcasts, expanded programs, etc.  I'm now beginning to wonder if I misunderstood the Lord's meaning.

Don't get me wrong.  I've enjoyed many of the new outreaches, but I'm starting to feel like a hamster on a wheel.  Imagine if you will the mental energy it takes to plan and prepare for a devotion every day, a video each week, a song for every day, a 30-minute Sunday School lesson each week, songs for the congregational singing each week, songs for the offertories for Sunday School, Sunday morning and Sunday evening services every week, and that's just the areas of ministry.  That doesn't include planning meals or shopping trips or anything else.  I love what I do, and I'm thrilled that the Lord is using me in so many ways, but recently, a single statement has been floating through my mind on a regular basis:  "More is not always better.  Sometimes, it's just more."

With that in mind, I began to wonder if God's idea of expanding the ministry was merely to spend more time and energy and outreach doing the things I was already doing:  writing and blogging.  Expand the audience.  Expand the awareness.  Do the same things, but do them better.  As I stated earlier, I haven't made any decisions yet, but the survey results helped me to see that my main passion and the most well-liked areas of my ministry were the same--blogging and writing books.  So, I am currently praying about the decision of cutting back on the various other methods of outreach.

One response I received from the survey was that I needed to stop trying to limit the ministry, and I completely agree.  But, the way I see it, cutting back, in this case, would not be limiting the ministry but rather focusing it on one or two areas.  There comes a point when we have so many things going on that we're not able to do any of them well.  I feel like that's the point I've reached.  The quality is lacking.  My zeal is faltering.  And my brain is overwhelmed by the constant demand for more, more, more!

As I thought on this, my mind was drawn to Martha.  Good ole Martha.  Friend of Jesus.  Sister to Mary and Lazarus.  Hard worker and gourmet chef (at least, in my mind she was).  But Martha had the same problem I've had of late.  She was so busy serving that she lost sight of all else.  The joy of serving was replaced with bitterness.  The reason for serving was hidden behind her to-do lists and daily schedules.  She had so many good things to do that she lost sight of the best thing.

Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus' feet, and heard his word. But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me. And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her. - Luke 10:38-42

I don't want to be careful and troubled about many things.  I want to find the one (or two) things that God wants me to do and then do them to the very best of my ability.  I fear being spread so thin that I'm not doing anything well.  After all, this is not just a job.  It's a ministry--God's ministry, and I want to be confident that He's in charge.

So, please bear with me for the next little bit as I continue to pray and meditate on what the Lord would have me do.  And, if you would help me pray, that would be fantastic.  I know that none of us likes change, and cutting certain areas out may offend some and even cause them to walk away, and I hope that's not the case.  But I need to make sure that God is my ultimate authority and that I do not allow myself to be swayed by my own emotions or the disapproval of others.  I do greatly appreciate all the feedback I've received, and I am taking these things into consideration as I consult with the Lord.  I will let you know what's going on as soon as I am aware, but I can tell you that the daily devotions and books will be continuing until the Lord tells me to stop.  These areas are not in question, so I hope that brings joy and contentment to you.

As always, if you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them below or contact me directly.  I always love hearing from you!

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