I have cop friends who wear bulletproof vests every day. The vests are made from a tough material called Kevlar. Ordinary bullets can’t penetrate Kevlar. They wear these vests because there are some crazy people out there who do not like police officers and would, given the chance, kill them.
I have some ministry friends who should wear bulletproof vests of a different kind. They should do this because there are some crazies out there who, given the chance, will destroy them. The bad thing is, many of these crazies are in our churches. They are snipers – they hide out waiting for a chance to take a cheap shot. They lob grenades – “bombs” that blow up everyone in the vicinity. They lay landmines that unsuspecting soldiers step on – and lose limbs and lives. Ministry leaders need vests that preserve their spiritual and emotional well-being. The damage being inflicted is not physical, it is spiritual.
You won’t find spiritual Kevlar on ebay.com.
While it would be easy for me to go the “whole armor of God” (Ephesians 6) direction with this, I have a little different perspective this time. It is important that we know the most effective spiritual protection against the would-be assassins in the church. So what is it that will protect a pastor from the soul-ripping holes that some would wish to inflict on him?
The only thing that I know of that will make ministry leaders impervious to attacks from their foes is the conviction of calling. One must know that they are called by God to do ministry. Without a for-sure knowledge of divine appointment, the next sucker punch may knock you out. But if you know, no question, beyond doubt that God has compelled and required you to serve Him in this ministry capacity, no critic or saboteur can take you out. You take the shots and keep moving forward.
Hey ministry buddy, you’d better strap on your vest. Lots of ammo is flying out there! Don’t let some crazy turn you into just another notch on his belt!