Tell me if this sounds familiar.
Whenever I have to deal with a difficult problem in my church, I contemplate doing something else with my life. Ministry just doesn’t seem worth it. I could get a job making more money with far fewer headaches far away from these people who drive me crazy.
Have you ever had similar thoughts?
If not, then you’re probably way holier than me, and this post is not for you. But, if you find yourself feeling this way from time to time, keep reading.
I spend a lot of time on social media interacting with pastors, and I can tell you that in many cases they’re not happy. The stress and demands of ministry have stolen their joy, and it’s understandable. The job of a pastor is incredibly difficult. It requires a multitude of skills, a heart of gold, and really thick skin.
But most of you didn’t get into ministry because you thought it was going to be fun and easy. If you did, you would already be out. You got into ministry because God called you, and when God calls, it’s always a good idea to answer.
I want to help you get back the joy of your calling, so how can we do that?
Think Back to the Beginning.
To the moment that you gave your life to Christ and the moment that you realized you had to give your life to the ministry. Those are incredible times in our lives, but over time it’s easy to forget them. Take a look back, and see how far you’ve come.
Look Towards the Future.
If God has put a calling on your life, I bet He’s given you a vision for the future. Even if it seems like you’ve got a long way to go and you don’t know if you’ll ever get there, I want you to think about that vision becoming a reality.
Celebrate the Progress You’ve Made.
Think about the lives that have been changed because of your ministry. Those who have been saved and baptized. The marriages that have been saved. The young men and women in your church who are growing closer to Christ because of your example. Even in those moments when it seems like you’re stuck, I bet you can still find things to celebrate if you look hard enough.
Spend Time with the Right People.
As pastors, we often spend the majority of our time with the wrong people. Get away from people who drain you, and start spending time with those who encourage and inspire you. When you feel like joy is running low, spend more time with your family and friends and less time at the hospital and funeral homes.
Keep Everything in Perspective.
I don’t know about you, but I tend to blow things out of proportion. This week I had to have a conversation I wasn’t looking forward to, and it made me miserable. It aggravated me so much. I actually said to myself, maybe I should just do something else with my life. In the end, it was a ninety-minute meeting that went much better than I thought. Surely, I’m not the only one who does this.
Get Alone with God.
We see this modeled over and over again in the Scriptures, especially in the life of Jesus. When life gets stressful and you feel like giving up, get alone with God. Spend time reading and praying just to connect with God.
These are just a few ideas, but I’m sure you have more. Would you do me a favor and share how you regain your joy in the comments below?