Ministry is tough. Sometimes, it’s difficult enough that we would back away were it not for our sense of calling. Here are some ways to be encouraged in even those hard days, though:
- Look for the sometimes-unseen victories. They may not be that noticeable to others, but you know what they are. That marriage that is now stronger. That wayward teen who has returned home. That church leader who has overcome a private, recurrent sin issue. See several victories like these, and you’ll see that God has been working.
- Focus on new believers saved under your ministry. Even if it’s only one person, it’s a life that God has rescued from hell – and He used you to work that miracle. Rejoice in that truth.
- Consider how you’ve grown, even in the tough times. When you recognize the hand of God working in your struggles, you can be encouraged by God’s loving care and direction. He’s sovereign.
- Go on a half-day retreat. Spend the time with God (and perhaps with your spouse or another church leader). Genuinely dig into the Word. Pray. A lot. Let the Lord re-ignite you.
- Take an older, more experienced church leader to lunch. Share your heart a bit. Those who have already been there and still have hope can help lighten your burden.
- Get outside the church, and tell somebody about Jesus. Few things redirect us from our troubles like helping others understand the grace of God. Even if nobody listens, your obedience to the Great Commission will bring some joy.
- Take a day off. In fact, take a few days off and do something you love to do. For me, that would mean hiking and camping where I can see the glory of God and have very little cellular service!
- Write your testimony, focusing on God’s provision for you in previous tough days. Most of us have them, and we can look retroactively and see what God has done to bring us through them. He’s still the same God today.
- Remember: God’s not worried. He’s really not. So, press on another day for His glory.
What a great set of reminders. I’ll add one more, given to me by a friend not that long ago: Remember, if you’re faithful, you’re successful.
No need for any other metric of success.
Thanks, Bill. Good word.
Number 8 really hits home, Dr. Lawless. I was just reading the end of 1 Timothy 1, when Paul gave his testimony. Then, you encouraged me to write my testimony. I take that as a sign from God that I need to do this.
Blessings, Jeremy! Thanks.
That was an excellent post. I love how you point us back to how Jesus has used the gifts and ministry we have been entrusted to carry out.
God bless, Keith.