Stop Expecting the Church To Promote You

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Promotion comes from GodVenom spewed out of her mouth as she vented her frustration. She had served her local church all these years, she said, but the church didn’t recognize her talents. She wanted to be promoted to a specific position, but the promotion she wanted was nowhere in sight. She was angry at God and the church because she had not been given the authority she felt she deserved.

I felt sorry for the woman as I heard her talking: not because she hadn’t been promoted, but rather because she couldn’t hear the poison in her own words. Despite her natural abilities, there were heart issues at play. It seemed pretty obvious that, until she was willing to submit to God’s work in her own heart, the odds of her getting the promotion she wanted were zero.

Unfortunately, that woman is not alone.

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    One of the biggest things I see and hear Christians complaining about is that they are not given the promotion in the church that they feel they deserve. They feel called to a specific thing, but that thing doesn’t seem to be anywhere on their horizon. “When will it happen?” they wonder. “Why wasn’t I picked?” “Why was I passed by?” “I’d be better at _____ than that person.”

    So they watch and wait. They pin their hopes on the Church and its leaders, thinking that perhaps they WILL be picked next time. If, however, “next time” still doesn’t have their name on it, all too often people get terribly hurt:

    • Rejection sets in.
    • Bitterness takes over.
    • Offenses pile up.
    • Soon the believer’s soul is filled with pain, anger, and even hopelessness.

    “Perhaps it will never happen,” they say. “Perhaps I’m not good enough, or people don’t like me, or maybe I mis-heard God’s call on my life.” “Perhaps those people don’t know how to hear God, or they would have picked me.” Like Peter, the offended believer eventually throws in the towel and heads back to the fishing boat.

    What’s the problem with all this? The problem is not easy, but it is simple. The bare, naked problem with the scenarios I described above is this:

    Promotion doesn’t come from the Church, so do yourself a favor and stop expecting the church to promote you now.

    Somehow in modern times, the Christian disciple has surveyed his environment and come to believe that other people are in control of his destiny. “If I had money like that person,” he reasons, or “If I were related to that one,” or “If I were friends with that person,” she says, “then I would be able to walk in my calling.”

    Eeeeeerrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. {Insert sound of screeching brakes here.}

    Nope. Halt everything!

    That one line of thinking—that promotion comes from the church—is the problem!

    • It’s the source of resentment and bitterness like we saw in the real-life story above.
    • It’s the source of unforgiveness and offenses that people harbor in their hearts toward innocent church leaders.
    • It’s the source of discouragement, depression, and outright despondency as people lose hope that their destiny will ever be fulfilled … because the Church didn’t notice their giftings.

    If you have ever wondered why your destiny hasn’t happened yet–if you have ever longed for a promotion that you did not receive–then maybe you can identify. If so, there’s good news and bad news.

    The good news:

    The truth of God’s Word will set you free from looking to the Church to make your destiny happen. That truth is:

    Promotion comes from God, and from God alone. 

    Your promotion is not in other people’s hands. The truth is that:

    • The Church is not responsible for your destiny.
    • The Church is not responsible for your promotion. {Click to tweet this!}
    • God, and God alone, humbles one person and raises up another.

    God alone is responsible for lifting you into the place He has ordained for you. God alone is responsible for promoting you into your destiny, and God alone knows the time and place that He has ordained for your promotion to occur.

    Look at these Scriptures:

    Start-quoteFor exaltation comes neither from the east
    Nor from the west nor from the south.
    But God is the Judge:
    He puts down one,
    And exalts another (Psalm 75:6-7).

    “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time” (1 Peter 5:6).

    “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up (James 4:10).

    “For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister. And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises” (Hebrews 6:10-12).

    “But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you (1 Peter 5:10).

    “But as for me, I trust in You, O Lord; I say, “You are my God.” My times are in Your hand (Psalm 31:14-15a).

    The Lord will perfect that which concerns me; Your mercy, O Lord, endures forever; do not forsake the works of Your hands” (Psalm 138:8).

    *All emphases mine.

    Your promotion comes from God, not from the church.

    “But,” you say, “I’ve seen church leaders promote other people! Why shouldn’t I expect them to promote me too?”

    God will often use your church leaders to promote you when it’s time. God honors authority, and He works using the lines of authority in your life that He has established. It’s His desire that we should walk under godly covering.

    However, according to the Scriptures above, the promotion that your leader gave to someone else came from God.

    When God uses church leaders to promote you, that promotion never comes from your leaders. It only comes through your leaders. {Click to tweet this!} Promotion originates in God, is ordained by God, and is enforced by God, even when He uses your leader as a conduit to convey your promotion to you. End of story.

    So what does this mean you need to do if you’ve been expecting the church to promote you?

    Simply this:

    1. Renew your mind and embrace God’s truth.

    Meditate on the Scriptures above (and on other Scriptures about this subject) until you really GET IT that promotion comes from God. Continuing to look to men for your destiny only sets you up for misery and failure. Who wants that, right? Cut yourself a break and receive the truth. You’ll be much happier when you do. 🙂

    2. Repent for your sins of bitterness, resentment, and unforgiveness.

    It doesn’t matter what other people have or have not done to you. It doesn’t matter what you even suspect people have or have not done to you. You aren’t accountable for them. You are only accountable for yourself, and someday you will stand before God. Will you do so with clean hands and a pure heart? Or will you stand before God–now or in the age to come–with bitterness, resentment, and unforgiveness in your heart?

    Bitterness is sin. Resentment is sin. Unforgiveness is sin. Look in the mirror and ask the Holy Spirit to convict you of any sin in your heart. If you’ve been harboring ill-will against the Church at large or against your leaders, repent of it and get right with God.

    3. Forgive the Church and its leaders.

    Ask the Lord to show you everything that you have been holding against the Church or its leaders, and forgive them for each thing specifically. For example, you might have been upset because:

    • You felt like they didn’t notice you;
    • You felt like they didn’t value you;
    • They gave opportunities to other people, but not to you… etc, etc, etc.

    Forgive your leaders for everything they have done to you and for everything you think they have done to you. Doing so will set you free and give you a new start.

    Important note: I say “for everything you think they have done to you” because one must remember that just because you think they were wrong, doesn’t mean they actually were!

    Consider the example at the top of the post. The woman thought her leaders were wrong, but it was obvious from her speech and attitude that she wasn’t ready for promotion yet. Nevertheless, the offense in her heart was very real. So in this situation, she would still need to forgive, but her leaders had not necessarily wronged her at all.

    4. Become promotable.

    God will always do what’s best for you, and He will never put you in a place you aren’t ready to handle yet. Therefore, in order for God to promote you, you must be prepared for your promotion.

    How do you become promotable? Great question! It’s such a great question, in fact, that I’m going to devote Wednesday’s blog post to that very question. Let’s just say there are three very important steps to becoming promotable, and all three of them are within your reach. 🙂

    Have you been expecting the Church to promote you? If so, it’s time to let go. God loves you. He has His eye on you. He (and He alone) will perfect all things that concern you. If you will:

    • Renew your mind with God’s truth;
    • Repent of bitterness, resentment, and unforgiveness;
    • Forgive the Church and your leaders; and
    • Become promotable,

    You’ll be free to receive God’s best for your life.

    Be sure and stay tuned for this Wednesday’s blog post about how to become promotable!

    In the meantime, did you find this post shareable, Pinteresting, likeable, or Tweetable? If so, please share on social media and help me reach more people with God’s presence, purpose, and power!

    Photo courtesy of Jose Maria Perez Nunez via Creative Commons license on Flickr.


    1. I appreciate this article.

      I have had good and bad experiences with church leadership when they become corrupt which makes it harder for me to trust somtimes tgat they are doing the right things.

      I need to pray to God and forgive those people and realize that it is God who brings the opportunity for leadership and places me where I’m needed even if the leaders are failing or don’t see God will put me where he needs me whether that’s staying or going somewhere he could better use me in a healthier environment.

    2. Wonderful just what I needed to hear with what I’m going through.

      Most times I feel Jesus is only a breath away, but I’m starting to see the enemy’s role in trying to separate me from my loving Father to the point that I would even question Jesus’ sweet whispers to me.

      All His answers, suggestions, commands, support & love I questioned?! NO, NO, I am so sorry Lord! Please forgive my human, heart that goes to past hurts instead of to you. I humble myself before you, Jesus. I am so greatful you would continue to forgive me and to grow me. I love you Lord. Help me to turn to you, to keep my eyes on you when things are not moving as fast as I want. Help me to surrender to you wholly. In your holy name I pray, amen.

    3. Miriam Chipeta says:

      Yes it’s true recently if been promoted after I been wondering don’t they see me..but God saw my pastor when was the right time to promote me to being an intercessor.. thanks Jamie you are wonderful..
      Send by God

    4. Emma wavinya Matheka says:

      A great encouragement. No more blame on anyone for failing to promote me. I’ve learnt that it’s not about them but God. And because I need promotion both in church and my workplace, I will wait on God.

    5. Paul Israel says:

      This is the most interesting message for me because I served God as assistant pastor for 20 years without salary or promotion or even when they contribute to the pastor, i can’t receive anything. I was feeling forgotten undermined……. I have repented now and forgiven everyone. My eyes are only now on God. Thank you pastor

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