This is one of the best leadership posts that I have read in the last week-STEVE
BY CARY NIEUWHOF
Most of us who get into full-time ministry do so because we sense a calling, not because it was a ‘career path’.
Chances are you got in this because you love God, deeply, right?
So it’s always a bit surprising and unusual then when ministry leaders find themselves struggling with the very God who called them into this in the first place. This is true whether you’re paid, bi-vocational or even a full-time volunteer.
Ministry can not only be hazardous to your spiritual health, it can be confusing.
But the good news is that struggling with God is normal. You are not alone.
The best leaders struggled with God.
Jacob wrestled an angel.
Moses almost quit more than a few times.
Jeremiah tried to quit but couldn’t.
Today’s struggles might be a bit different, but in some ways struggle is inevitable.
I personally have struggled with every one of the five challenges I outline in this post. And what’s amazing to me is that you can get through them. You really can.
Sometimes all you need to know is you’re not alone. And you’re not, even if you feel that way.
Here are 5 ways ministry leaders struggle in their relationship with God:
1. You see setbacks in ministry as a personal statement from God about you
Hey, everybody thinks this way when life circumstances don’t tilt in their favor (why did God allow me to have cancer/lose this job/be in this place?). So it’s natural that this line of thinking would emerge in ministry.
Just because things aren’t going the way you want in ministry isn’t an automatic sign that God is angry with you. I’m always amazed that constant imprisonment didn’t cause Paul to second guess himself or God.
God isn’t always punishing you, even if it feels like he is.
The key is to take the setbacks in front of you seriously, not personally. You’ll be so much healthier.
2. You believe that greater faithfulness should result in greater impact in ministry
Ever tried to improve your personal devotional life so your church would do better? Gosh, I wish this wasn’t true but in the early days of ministry, I really thought greater personal fervor would automatically translate into greater ministry impact.