How is your week going so far? Ever have one of those I-want-to-throw-in-the-towel weeks? I can’t tell you how many times I have felt that way!
Some people have asked me the “secret” of pastoring one church for 31 years. I usually respond with, “Stupidity and stubbornness!” Seriously, as I reflect, there are three insights I can give you.
- Make a commitment. When Linda and I first were “assigned” to New Hope as Church Planters, we committed ourselves to be there at least 10 years. That decision wasn’t made with the Conference or a Board, rather it came from prayer and planning. It was a commitment we made between God and each other. We had no idea of the future, but knew that we couldn’t be effective, if we kept looking over the fence.
- Have a purpose and direction. There is nothing worse than “bowling without pins.” So often we “do church” without knowing the purpose. If you’re struggling with the “whys and hows” of ministry, I’d encourage you to find a model of ministry you can learn from. I would have never lasted without seeing the big picture.
- Weather the storms. The biggest storms in ministry involve people. We go into ministry because we love people and there is nothing more discouraging than angry parishioners. Here’s a news flash: you can’t please everyone! In fact, whenever there was a significant step forward in the church, there were good people that left. Every time. Expect it and don’t give up!
BEFORE YOU GO…
I know some of you are discouraged. One promise I’ve clung to is Galatians 6:9 “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”
Here’s a question to talk more about… What makes you want to quit ministry?
7 Comments Add yours
Timely Randy. Thanks for the encouragement! Miss you & Linda. 🙂
When ministry becomes deadly for family. The real trick is learning how to minister and fulfill our call without sacrificing our children and wives on the altar of “service.” I am not thinking of Abraham and his sacrifice of Isaac but of our tendency to put off our children and their needs until a more convenient time and always putting “dear Mrs. Smith and her reoccurring hang nail problems” in first place. It is a very real challenge for me living cross culturally because the needs are huge and often urgent.
It’s great to hear from you again Randy. I can share that throughout my life when I quit something because it wasn’t going my way, I was missing out on something God was trying to do in my life. For example, a life lesson, a greater opportunity, a new way to resolve an issue, and more importantly learning from him and gaining his wisdom. In my younger days, I went from bad situation to another bad situation because I would quit when I didn’t like how people were treating me, or if I felt I was being passed over by someone who I thought wasn’t as qualified as me. It took a long time and I made a lot of bad choices, but I finally learned that we all have to “weather the storms” in our lives and then, and only then, we find out what God has in store for us. I bet God was and continues to say, wow this guy is so stubborn, but I love him and I will keep after him, and one day if he keeps praying and listening to me the light bulb will come on and see what I’m trying to teach him.
This was a good word. It has been one of those weeks. Preached on brother love, i.e. 2Pet. 1:5-7 and then God presents multiple opportunities for me to love people. Go figure.
This was a good word. It has been one of those weeks. Preached on brotherly love, i.e. 2Pet. 1:5-7 and then God presents multiple opportunities for me to love people. Go figure.
that is one of my favorite verses Randy. Thanks for sharing! We miss you both tremendously!
Thanks Brother. For me it was becoming too busy doing good things and not keeping the margins as your dad would say. I did not protect the time with Jesus and my own devotional life.
Romans 15:13 is a key verse for me. Being filled continually with the Holy Spirit.