Friday, September 21, 2007


Have you ever had a "hard week" in ministry, where things and people seem to conspire against you? If you haven't had one of these lately, get ready! I have been amazed over the years at the experiences I've had. After a period of "perfect sailing" you can crash headlong into "the perfect storm."

At times like these it is good to remember that there have always been "times like these." The Apostle Paul seems to share our experience in 2 Corinthians 4:1, "Therefore, since through God's mercy we have this ministry, we do not lost heart." If I'm reading him right, he seems to be make a conscious choice at the end of that statement to not lose heart, which implies that he had every reason in the moment to do so. But maybe that's Paul's secret, he didn't just live in the moment. He stepped back and saw a much-bigger picture. He saw bigger patterns in the weather, and didn't get stuck in the current storm.

To keep perspective on ministry, I remind myself that....

Ministry is a great place to be….

The work is meaningful
The work is relational
The work is flexible
The work is compensated

Ministry is a tough place to be….

The work is spiritual war
The work is with people
The work is intense
The work is demanding

To survive in ministry….

You must keep your spiritual senses sharp.
You must occasionally get away from people and find some who will not just take from you.
You must manage IMAs. (IMAs are "Intensive Ministry Activities" like funerals, intensive counseling, etc.)
You must think “ministry” and not just “job.”
Seasoned pastors will tell you, "Never resign on a Monday." This is because you probably don't have perspective on a Monday. One thing that has helped me keep perspective is taking one day a month away with God as a day of prayer and fasting. I find that hearing my Father's voice gives me the comfort and assurance to go on. As Paul says in 2 Corinthians 5:18, "All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation."

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