Jesus said to him, “Follow me.”
And he got up and followed Jesus.
For those in ministry, the roadmap is often unclear.
Think about it: planning an event, creating the advertisements, contacting the speakers, picking the resources: and then, the day of the event, we hope and pray that someone shows up (and that we have the guts to cajole our friends to show up too).
The very effectiveness of our lives as ministers, however, isn’t necessarily measured by outward success – at least success measured by integers – but rather the faithfulness to God that we have shown. This isn’t to say, of course, that results don’t matter. If the Gospels suggested that Jesus ask to Levi follow, and Levi responded by going back to counting money, the story wouldn’t be as gripping. And yet, at the same time, the real end of ministry can’t just be a matter of quantity.
Maybe that’s why lay and ordained ministers need to pray: for the wisdom to learn how to facilitate people meeting the Lord, but also for the prudence to determine where faithfulness and effectiveness meet.
In other words, without prayer in our ministries, all we have is a map with no names.