Not what I expected in being a minister
I found myself sitting in my office, with my books on my book shelves, with my door closed, wondering what I was supposed to be doing with my time, and my energy and my wonderful education. . . .
I didn’t feel like a church leader.
I know my experience isn’t unique. Lots of other ministers have said the same thing or something similar.
When it doesn’t go as planned
Or, sometimes there is a fast start and wonderful response, but after a relatively brief time things slow to a
plodding pace and panic begins to set in.
“What do I do now? How do I keep things going??”
There’s nothing wrong with admitting you need help.
But where do you go for help without embarrassing yourself?
Comforted by common experiences by other leaders
If you’re the senior pastor, going to another pastor you trust and feel safe confiding in will, in all probability, provide a lot of relief.
What . . . you don’t think he hasn’t had bad days!?? He may tell you of some of his “war stories” in church and personal struggles to stay on top of his game.
It’s comforting to hear someone else say they’ve had similar experiences.
If you’re a junior staff member, a fellow minister in a similar position — whether in your church or in another church close by — will let you know they’ve had a similar struggle.
At the very least, long distance friends by phone can help put things in perspective.
Spiritual Depression — A scary experience for leadership!
One of the best bits of advice I was offered by a friend in ministry was, “Everyone has a ‘dry’ period from time-to-time, when it’s just hard to get the juices flowing.”
At times, I just seemed to be in a spiritual desert, or even a spiritual depression, when nothing seemed to be clicking between God and me.
After a great victory in your ministry, be prepared for the possibility of a let down in your spirit.
Even the great victories in the Bible were followed by a time of emptiness at times. (e.g., Jonah 4:5-8)
Church Leadership means taking care of yourself
Take heart in the encouragement of colleagues.
Ask for guidance — in prayer and in your spiritual siblings.
Get busy and do know to do, and give God the freedom to guide you into His next area of ministry.
All ministers are in ministry together, as partners . . . not as competitors.
Church leaders are human!
It’s really O.K. to admit that you don’t know it all.
Be a better minister by being open to another in ministry when you’re struggling so God can give you encouragement through their common experiences.
“I pray that your partnership with us in the faith may be effective in deepening your understanding of every good thing we share for the sake of Christ.” (Philemon 1:6)
Want to talk with a fellow struggler? Give me a call at 225-773-8883. Initial consults are free, whatever your concerns.