What to Remember When Ministry Is Hard

What to Remember When Ministry Is Hard

When ministry feels like being caught in the force of a riptide that pulls you away from the safety of the shore; when the current drags you under again and again and rolls you around on the sandy bottom; and when it seems to take longer each time for the undercurrent to release its grip and allow you to gasp for air…remember that He reaches down from heaven, takes your hand and pulls you out of deep waters. (Psalm 18:16)

When you worry if your children will even like church when they are no longer required to attend…remember that Jesus loves your children too and wants them to inherit the Kingdom of God. (Lk 18:15-17)

When your ministry shelf life seems to be moving quickly toward the expiration date…remember to run this ministry endurance race by fixing your eyes on Jesus since He is the source and perfecter of it. (Heb 12:1-2)

When congregants target your family because they are upset with you…remember the Lord is your strength and defense so you don’t have to be. (Ps 46:1)

When you are tempted to quit every Monday morning…remember to be strong and don’t give up, your work will be rewarded. (2 Chr 15:7)

When you have to schedule your family vacation after the youth mission trip, children’s camp and Vacation Bible School, but before the fall kickoff…remember to learn from Jesus’ example of rest by wearing his yoke, not your own. (Mt 11:28-30)

When the senior adult potluck dinner is the only date night with your spouse…remember that New Testament church leaders were required to first demonstrate faithfulness at home before being considered for ministry. (1 Tim 3:1-13)

When you are the latest forced termination victim…remember to be confident and courageous since the Lord will be with you wherever you go. (Josh 1:9)

When it seems like no one is holding your rope, standing in the gap or watching your back…remember you have a great cloud of witnesses surrounding you. (Heb 12:1)

When you are always the first one to arrive and last one to leave…remember you are doing it in His strength, not your own. (Isa 40:29)

When your creativity has been exhausted and burnout is causing you to coast…remember that He is the potter and you are the clay so it’s the work of His hands, not yours. (Isa 64:8)

When you are attacked for initiating much needed change…remember the Lord hates those who stir up conflict in the community. (Prov 6:16-19)

When you don’t have the resolve to take care of yourself spiritually, physically and emotionally…remember that He renews your strength when you are worn out and increases your drive when reserves are depleted. (Isa 40:29-31)

Remember…since we have such a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily ensnares us. Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us, keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that lay before Him endured a cross and despised the shame and has sat down at the right hand of God’s throne. For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, so that you won’t grow weary and lose heart. (Heb 12:1-3)

This article originally appeared here.

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David Manner
Dr. David W. Manner serves as the Associate Executive Director for Kansas-Nebraska Convention of Southern Baptists with responsibilities in the areas of Worship, Leadership and Administration.