WHEN FELLOWSHIP IS A HARDSHIP
I’ve been to a few of the area pastors meetings in those cities in which I lived. There really weren’t very many of them to tell about. At least, I didn’t go out of my way to attend. I’m not an especially big convention/meetings person, unless it seems that it may be relevant to my work.
What I have noticed is that many of the meetings don’t seem to be attended for the fellowship, or sharing information that may be helpful for others.
Sometimes it seems that it’s actually about what one can boast about, or what ideas one can glean from others with the hope the results will be incredible when implemented in my church.
IS CAUTION YOUR MINISTRY M.O?
While I think there is a lot of good healthy fellowship and genuine encouragement, I also think that there is a genuine caution in the minds of many ministers that anything that is less than awesome about their ministry is considered a weakness.
Not to be able to be open and honest about their struggles and discouragements sets one up to develop loneliness and hopelessness. Maybe a sense of embarrassment or inadequacy will begin to consume the person who isn’t able to say something superlative about his ministry.
Of course, God’s encouragement and strength is the foundation for continuing on in difficult times. God often offers his encouragement through those brothers and sisters in Christ that are near.
EVERY MINISTER NEEDS TO BE PROACTIVE ON THIS ISSUE
When a minister admits his struggles to others, he may think he’s making himself vulnerable to criticism behind his back. He fears that their discussions will focus on the fact that he’s not being faithful to God’s calling or he wouldn’t be discouraged.
And what if there is conflict among staff ministers, or a growing schism in the church? It’s not always easy to talk with other pastors about the problems you face because of what they might think or say about you.
“What would people say if they knew I wasn’t able to fix the problem in my church? I’m embarrassed that this is happening and I can’t fix it!”
If you’re not the senior pastor? You don’t have to live in fear that your pastor or those in your ministry area will belittle or have reason to criticize you or your ministry.
Here are seven things you can do to beat the fear of failure as a minister:
- Communicate openly and frequently with committees, senior pastor/staff, those in your area of ministry, and the congregation as a whole.
- Establish a trusting friendship with at least three ministers in your area that you can fellowship with and have frequent meetings with them to vent, celebrate, support and be accountable to.
- If you’re the senior pastor, be sure you are connected to your staff, praying with and for them. Get to know them, so you don’t have to pry information out of them and your staff knows you care and they can trust you.
- If you’re a ministering staff member, let your pastor know that you are depending on his honesty and guidance so your work is supportive of him and the church. Be genuine in asking for his insight when you’re stuck for direction.
- Attend conferences designed for your area of ministry and connect with as many colleagues as possible. If there are small group discussions, be open about victories and struggles. Be sure to establish ways to continue communicate with those who are encouraging after the conference ends.
- Make it a point to meet and greet those ministers in your area of ministry who are new to churches in your community.
- Minister to yourself and your family. If no one else is ministering to your needs, it is especially important for you to take care of yourself by staying connected to God.
You may have to venture outside your comfort zone, maybe push yourself a little to introduce yourself to strangers and initiate conversations. It may actually be your cup of tea to schmooze with others, so enjoy it with a purpose . . . for yourself and other’s benefit.
So, whatchagonnado? If you’re struggling with insecurity, or wrestling with where to go for support, minister to yourself by connecting with those God has around you for support and encouragement.
Pastors, a free report is available for you, Getting Your Staff on Board for Church Harmony. Click HERE and look for the the free report offer on the right of the page.