Ministry = high highs and low lows

incredible-hulkThere are few surprises in ministry if you appreciate the effects of sin on image-bearers.

Ministry is a never-ending emotional roller coaster, made up of high highs and low lows.

It’s back-to-back counseling sessions. One to counsel a doting couple about to get married, followed by one with a volatile couple’s last ditch effort before they file for divorce.

It’s back-to-back emails. One from a member of your church telling in detail what a disappointment you are as a pastor. The other from another member sharing how last Sunday’s message has positively impacted their week.

It’s back-to-back hospital visits. One to welcome a healthy newborn into the world and congratulate the proud parents. The other to pray for someone who’s been told they’re going to die much too early.

It’s back-to-back evangelism attempts. One that physically threatens you before slamming the door in your face. The next that sees a family of five all pray to trust Christ as their Savior.

It’s back-to-back appointments. One with an eager disciple who’s rising to the challenge to take that next step in their faith journey. The next with a long-standing member who wants you to hear all of his reasons for leaving the church.

It’s back-to-back ceremonies. One to bury a husband and father who died unexpectedly, and no one is sure of his salvation. The other is a wedding between two godly young people.

It’s back-to-back phone calls regarding benevolence. The first thanks you for meeting with her last week, praying for her, and writing a check to pay the rent for her family. The second pulls the “you’re not acting Christian” card because you’ve explained that you can’t bend the policy for a third time in a month to assist him.

It’s back-to-back conversations following the sermon. One to tell you what you said wrong, and the other to thank you for saying it right.

The whiplash can take its toll.

Sign up for ministry at the table in the back. Don’t expect fanfare.


2 responses to “Ministry = high highs and low lows

  • afalston

    Thank you for sticking with it anyway!

    Reading this post this morning reminded me a little bit of Max Lucado’s children’s book about the Wemmicks called “You are Special.” In it the Wemmicks give each other stars if they like each other and gray spots if they don’t. But for the Wemmicks who see the Toy Maker, neither the gray spots nor the stars stick to them.

    And that reminds me of 1 Cor 4:3-4:
    “So for me it is a minor matter that I am judged by you or by any human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself. For I am not aware of anything against myself, but I am not acquitted because of this. The One Who judges me is the Lord.”

    I know that what you are describing goes way beyond people tearing you down or giving you kudos. I know of a few of the situations that are really hard to bear, and can’t imagine the weight of knowing you are responsible to God for the souls of the people you have been given care of.

    “Apart from other things there is the daily pressure on me of my anxious concern for all the churches. Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is lead into sin and I do not burn with indignation?” 2 Cor 11:28-29

    In the end, you are only one person. But you are a person surrendered to a very powerful King. And He will make sure that your efforts are not in vain. He will guard His Bride. He will bring in His harvest. He will comfort His people. He will convict the world. I hope that you find comfort and rest in that as you are pulled a million different directions this week.

    Praying for your continued faithfulness and endurance…We like having you around!

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