I have been preaching since 2013 and in full-time evangelism ministry since 2019. I was a youth pastor in a small church from 2016 to 2019, serving a small group of incredible teenagers in a tiny West Virginia community.
I have been in church for as long as I can remember, but my ministry life has been rather short. This short stint of ministry on the road has been nothing short of remarkable. I could go on for hours about the things I have seen, the connections I have made and the friends that will be in my life forever.
I often find myself asking the Lord why He would allow me to be a part of something so special. It never fails to humble me when I go back through memories of old revivals and relive the moments that birthed this kingdom assignment.
Nonetheless, in a moment of pure transparency, I recently found myself asking my pastor and mentor, after several years of ministry, if it was worth it. The assignment. The mission. The calling. The ministry. Is it worth it?
Many might ask why I would ask that kind of question. Does the answer not seem obvious? How could it not be worth it?
It would be naïve to believe there is not an abundance of vicious people in the world. Jesus Himself said that He was sending us as "sheep among wolves" (Matt. 10:16). That is expected in a carnal, secular society. In my journey, however, it seems that some of the most vicious wolves are seated right under the steeples, and many are disguised as leaders.
Yes, I said it.
Throughout the entirety of my ministry experience, I have had more arrows thrown in my direction from "brothers and sisters" than any other group of people, and I use that phrase loosely. Sinners have not come close to giving me the level of grief that church people have given me.
Church people are not to be confused with the bride of Christ. There is, of course, a world full of hungry, passionate kingdom builders who have buried their own agenda for the endless pursuit of heaven. It is unfortunate that in many churches, these people are seldom found, seldom understood or seldom heard.
To a large extent, these people are jealous. They are manipulative. They are gossips. They are backbiting. The only kingdom they serve is their own, using the sheep's clothing to cover up the wolf claws and canines. If you are not "of them" or their denomination, you become their competition.
In becoming their competition, they will criticize anything the Lord does through you. If your fire cannot be controlled or understood by them, they will try to blanket it. They will befriend you until you are manipulated into giving them what they need. When they get what they want, suddenly there becomes something "off" about you.
If you baptize 20, they must baptize 21 in the name of competition. If your ministry is big, you preach the prosperity gospel. If your ministry is small, you are considered ineffective. They do not have the ability to celebrate a victory unless the victory is their own or from their own denomination. Their kingdoms and motives are served while using Jesus as the poster child.
They will attack you in their gossip circles and "honor" you in public. They will walk out on you when they aren't getting what they desire from you. They will gain your trust to get leverage against you and demonize your shortcomings, shattering any confidence you had in the ability to confide in people.
When their motives and hateful words are brought to light, the cuts run deep. It becomes nearly impossible to trust any person with anything, assuming that it will be leveraged against you one day. Diminishing and degrading their "family" to as many as will listen to their venomous words is how their kingdom is established. Your shortcomings soon become their footstools.
Is it still worth it?
As I pondered these thoughts for several weeks, I came to a church service back home. As I stood in the back of the room weeping before the Lord, our pastor asked us to find someone close by and begin praying for them.
I did not move. I was isolated to myself, just as I was feeling spiritually and personally. As I began to pray to myself, I felt a small hand touch my shoulder blade. Someone came to me. I opened my eyes and looked down, and I saw a young teenage girl praying intently for me with tears. Her name is Grace. I had led her to the Lord late one night in a service at the church following a service several months ago.
It was almost two hours after the service had concluded, and I had a long drive back to Tennessee. Nonetheless, this young lady needed Jesus. That night, she received Jesus and was delivered from a spirit of depression and suicide.
After praying for me, she stood on her tip toes to whisper to me that she had gotten baptized. She then said "if you had not taken time to minister to me, I would have killed myself. Thank you for hearing God."
I was shaken to my core as her single statement realigned my focus back to the original mission. For Grace, it was worth it.
I began to weep and reflect. I remembered the stories and experiences of the last three years of evangelism ministry.
– For the young man who sprinted to the baptism tank to be radically delivered from a lifestyle of homosexuality and depression that now serves in a church, it was worth it.
– For the mother who prayed for several years that her prodigal son would come home, it was worth it when he came to the revival and got in the water to bury his sin.
– For the agnostic who was begged to come to our revival by a friend that had a vision of Jesus at the altar as Paul did, it was worth it.
– For the drug addict who was radically delivered and now runs a recovery ministry in his community and got his family back, it was worth it.
– For the man who was healed from permanent 25-year lung damage after his oxygen tank died, it was worth it.
– For the generation of young warriors that I have personally met who have a yearning desire to see the face of Jesus and see revival in their schools, it was worth it.
– For the marriage that nearly ended in divorce but instead buried the divorce papers in the baptismal waters, it was worth it.
– For every salvation (nearly 2,000) in the public school system of West Virginia since 2015, it was worth it.
– For the precious saint who prayed for their community to have revival for decades and saw it come to pass, it was worth it.
– For the people of God with pure motives and clean hearts, it was worth it.
– For the Son of Man to receive the full reward of His suffering, it will always be worth it.
For every church person that has thrown arrows, every "friend" who took a shot on their way out and every vicious leader that came with wet blankets for the fire, there are 10 more Graces that make this journey worth it.
For every Judas, there is also a team of disciples waiting in the upper room on the promise from heaven. For every jealous "older son," (see Luke 15:28) there is a prodigal who no longer eats with the pigs. There are two angels in heaven for every one demon in hell. Still, there is a generation longing to see the face of their King. And for that, we must continue pioneering revival.
To answer my own question ... Yes. It is worth it.
Nik Walker is an evangelist and the founder of Nik Walker Ministries, an evangelistic ministry based in Cleveland, Tennessee. At 25, his ministry seeks to wake up the sleeping church, save the lost and empower the next generation of five-fold ministers. Visit NWMinistries.com or the NWM Facebook page for more information.
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