Home Youth Leaders Articles for Youth Leaders 4 Warning Signs for Ministry Failure

4 Warning Signs for Ministry Failure

No matter who we are or how long we’ve been serving Christ or have been in ministry, each of us needs to come to grips with the frightening reality that we could fall morally. And in just a single moment of weakness or carelessness we could literally destroy everything that we’ve spent so long trying to build. In a single moment we could humiliate our families, destroy our reputations and hurt the body of Christ. We’re living in a time where it seems like almost every few months we’re hearing news about yet another pastor, student pastor or church leader falling into sin and bringing reproach against the church of Jesus Christ. I’m sure that each and every one of those men said at one point or another, just as Peter did, that “even if all are made to stumble because of You I will never be made to stumble!” (Matt. 26:33). No one ever plans or intends to fail the Lord, but unfortunately it can and does happen, which is why each of us must constantly be on guard against the plans and attempts of the enemy to derail us.

I heard some very helpful advice once from Evangelist Pat Schatzline in one of his Youth Leader sessions. He shared an acrostic that if we would use it could really help us to avoid trouble. It’s the acrostic H.A.L.T. It stands for Hurting, Angry, Lonely or Tired. These are four warning signs that you need to stop and pay attention because you very well might be in danger of making a mistake:

1. HURTING: Sadly, it’s extremely easy to get hurt in ministry. I have been hurt more times than I care to admit. One thing that I learned very quickly early on in my ministry was that people will hurt you. It’s amazed me over the years the things that people will do and say to a pastor these days; people will literally say anything to you without hesitation, even in the church. Thick skin is absolutely critical to have as a man or woman of God. But when you’ve been hurt, know that you might be in danger.

2. ANGRY: Unchecked anger gives the Devil a major foothold in your life. This is why the Bible encourages us to NOT go to bed angry, because anger that is left unchecked festers in our hearts and begins to grow. There are things that you will DO and SAY when you’re angry that you would never do or say otherwise. It’s especially important for us who preach and teach God’s word to deal with our anger before we get up and minster before the people, because that anger will come out in our preaching.

3. LONELY: Being alone and being lonely are two very different things. Being alone can be a very good and very refreshing thing. Sometimes we just need some “me time.” But loneliness can be dangerous, because when you feel lonely you feel like no one is there for you, like no one cares, like no one sees where you are. Loneliness can open the door for compromise very easily if we’re not careful. Of course, we know that God is there and that according to His word, He will never leave us nor forsake us. We need to run to our Heavenly Father when we begin to feel loneliness consuming our hearts.

4. TIRED: Jesus encouraged us to come to Him when we feel tired or weary and He would give us rest (Matt. 11:28). When you’re tired, it hinders your judgement because you’re not thinking clearly. If you’re tired, go to sleep, take a nap, be sure that you’re getting adequate amounts of sleep each night. The Bible tells us that God gives his beloved “rest.” Sometimes one of the most spiritual things a man or woman of God can do is sleep!

So I hope these help someone out there; be on guard always! Remember that the Bible says that Satan is like a roaring lion seeking whom He may devour. Get into the habit of using this acrostic to keep yourself out of danger. H.A.L.T.!

A great book to read that I recommend to anyone in ministry is the book REMNANT by Larry Stockstil. It’s a book about restoring INTEGRITY to the church, starting with the leaders. Check it out here!