Home Outreach Leaders Articles for Outreach & Missions 10 Difficult Truths About Ministry I Wish I Knew When I Started

10 Difficult Truths About Ministry I Wish I Knew When I Started

Five years ago, I left a career as an engineer to serve the local church full-time. The first day, I walked into the church building giddy, like a school girl who just saw the finest dude ever. I think I skipped twice, then I noticed the lady cleaning the church building staring at me. Awkward.

I was so excited. Working full-time for the local church would be a never-ending honeymoon.

The honeymoon lasted like three months. I remember leaving the office one afternoon thinking, “What have I done? I didn’t sign up for this.” The demands of ministry were overwhelming. The demands of people were exhausting. Not to mention I was hanging out in an office most days. I mean, why are pastors in an office all day? Was I really supposed to read books and prepare classes for eight hours? What about the people?

Five years later, I still wonder why pastors are closed up in an office all day, but I love local church ministry. I embrace the opportunity to work for the bride of Jesus. Are there days I want to quit? Certainly. But those thoughts don’t come nearly as often.

The path to this point wasn’t easy (the path moving forward won’t be easy either). But some truths about ministry would have helped me avoid a few potholes. These truths aren’t easy to accept, but they would have saved me nights of doubting and frustrations due to unmet (and unrealistic) expectations.

Here we go!

1.) Satan targets everyone, but he’s especially targeting you.

Two weeks before transitioning into full-time ministry, I went through the darkest time of my life. Before this season, I never struggled with depression. It just wasn’t an issue for me. But, as I agonized over whether to jump into ministry or remain an engineer, a cloud of darkness hovered over my mind. To this day, I have no explanation other than Satan. The day before I made the decision to quit my engineering job, the dark cloud dissipated.

Here’s what I wish I knew before I got into ministry … while Satan targets everyone, he especially targets church leaders.

In the gospels, Satan directly attacks two individuals … Jesus and Peter (that’s not to say he didn’t attack others, we’re just told explicitly about Jesus and Peter). In Matthew 5, Satan tempts Jesus in the wilderness. In Luke 22:31, Jesus tells Peter, “Satan has asked to sift you like wheat.” Jesus, whose death established the church, and Peter, the guy who built the church, are explicitly attacked by Satan.

Coincidence? I think not.

Satan hates God, so naturally he hates the bride of Jesus, the church. How do you destroy the bride of Jesus Christ? Remove those who lead it. If you’re in any type of leadership role in the church, that’s you. This shouldn’t scare you. The power in you is greater than the power in the world. Just be aware that you’re under attack.