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?