10.6 MINISTRY IS LIKE Mountain Biking – Onboard Gear

As I have been learning how to be more of a serious mountain biker on legitimately challenging trails in the Ozarks, I have noticed many situations that have principles similar to what would be applicable in ministry. This series highlights some of the things I am learning along the way.

I’ve learned the easy way from listening to advice, and sometimes I’ve learned the hard way by mistakes. One thing I’ve picked up along the way though, is that what you have onboard your bike is very important. Two things in particular have leadership analogies that are appropriate:

Air Pump – Guess what!? Tires have air in them. Not surprising perhaps, but what can be surprising is how suddenly they can start losing air. A lightweight pump that attaches to your bike is an affordable way of preparing for keeping your tires firm if you lose some pressure while on a ride.
In the same way, leaders need to be filled with the spirit of God. In 1 Thessalonians 1, the exhortation is 16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
Though this applies to all of us, leaders are just as likely to stop walking in the power of the Holy Spirit. An old professor of mine once equated our hearts and minds to colanders when it comes to the Holy Spirit. Though we can be filled with the Holy Spirit, the rhythm of life can cause a slow trickle which eventually leads us to living out of the flesh. By remaining in dependent prayer throughout our days, we can avoid the sin which so easily comes when we are deflated.

Hydration – A simple thing like a water bottle (or one of those fancy-schmancy camel type backpacks with a tube straw) can enable you to drink as you go. When riding it’s easy to realize that your muscles or lungs are burning. But for some people, they can forget to replace their fluids if their mouth isn’t thirsty. One might not feel dehydrated until after it has already become a serious problem. Keeping fluids on hand and part of a normal riding routine is a non-negotiable in overcoming fatigue & potential exhaustion.

Similarly, it’s a well know issue that many Christian leaders can read their Bible frequently for their vocation, but forget to do it for personal edification. Most leaders always have a cell phone with them, which can be convenient to stay in the Word. Reminders and or alarms on their smart phones help keep them on track with personal daily devotions. I count myself among those who can honestly say that I read my Bible more than ever, and can partially attribute that to using the YouVersion Bible App on my smart phone. It’s like a water bottle for my head, heart, and soul. I always have it with me, and am likely to use it for replenishment.

By continuing the effort to pray without ceasing, and reading the Bible without a future sermon in mind, I am honoring God and keeping myself healthier spiritually. Like Mountain Biking, there are some things you should never leave for a ride without. In leadership, you should never stop praying, and never stop reading your Bible.

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