Preachers whine too much! Thus the title of this post is primarily for ministers, and preachers especially. I sometimes get tired of hearing minister gripe and complain about how difficult ministry is… when they have a place to minister and get a paycheck every week! But I do understand their struggle because, of all places, a congregation of God’s people should be a place of peace… joy… and encouragement. Yet this is (A great majority of times) not the case. For instance, one minister I know has had this ministry path…
Congregation #1: They fired the pastor prior to him and the church split.
Congregation #2: They fired the pastor prior to him and the church split.
Congregation #3. They fired the pastor prior to him. Then from 1953 to 1992 they fired 5 of 7 pastors.
Congregation #4. They fired a pastor prior to him and the church split.
Congregation #5 (Interim). They pressured the previous pastor to leave, then fired the Youth minister, then pressured the Worship Leader to leave… all within an 18 month period prior to him coming.
Congregation #6. They fired a pastor prior to him.
Congregation #7 (Interim). The congregation pressured the prior minister to leave.
Congregation #8 (Interim). The congregation fired a minister 2 years prior to his call.
Someone is saying right now: “What can’t this guy stay at a church?! Eight places of ministry in 25 years… something’s wrong!” Ah, but what if God called him to minister to congregations in difficult circumstances… to help with healing and restoration? Those critics would say the same thing about Paul for getting run off from city after city. Anyway… back to my point…
Ministry is difficult. Regarding the minister above, consider the following: 1) He had his hands full going in to each congregation. 2) By God’s grace each congregation grew in giving, membership, and baptisms. 3) In each congregation attendance increased during his tenure. 4) He and his family endured difficulty while serving in these congregations. 5) In each congregation there were a number of wonderful Godly Christian friends. 6) He and his family carry scars today from serving in these congregations. 7) He confesses he made mistakes himself and does not blame anyone for struggles endured.
I heard from a seminary student recently that three to five years after graduation more than 50% will have left the ministry. Studies have shown that every week over 1,000 ministers leave the ministry. And I could go on. Now I have a word or two for those considering going into Christian Ministry.
#1. Make sure GOD is calling you! #2. Know up front you will become the enemy’s target, so don’t be surprised by difficulty. #3. If you’re looking for an easy career, you aren’t called to ministry. #4. There are many joys in ministry and it will be well worth a faithful call one day in eternity. #5. The rewards far outweigh the difficulties. #6. When you struggle remember: There are sheep and there are wheat! (You may have to think through that one). #7: Make sure GOD is calling you to Christian ministry!
I admit this could be taken as a negative post, so let me close with this word for those God calls to The Gospel Ministry from Matthew 19:29-30 where it is recorded Jesus said…
Everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for My name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life. 30 But many who are first will be last, and the last first.