I talk with people from all walks regarding ministry. Some feel frustratingly lost in their endeavor. I mean I get calls from total strangers simply wanting to visit about their sagging work in the kingdom. Today I got a lengthy email from one soldier of the cross expressing open discouragement over her particular work. She was asking for direction, suggestions, or criticism. While I’m responding to her email a call comes in from someone, who heard me speak once twenty-five years ago, with a question about ministry.
While there are several who have a great grasp of their calling and are able to walk with complete vision, others are fatigued from exerting energy seemingly to no avail. Such ones have my heart. I have been there, done that, and at times return there again. It’s not fun. The good news is our God is not stumped. He knows life! He knows how to do life….in and through us.
May I offer an idea or two which might help when you hit such zones? First, as we apply ourselves there will be constant temptation to become distracted. That’s part of my point in the previous blog. An area where we might check is to ask if we are building the church or are we being built into Christ. If we are being built into the form of Christ then the church is being developed. However, if we are building the church one might find it completely and biblically organized without the Spirit of Jesus. Simply put, but always a possible threat.
I wonder if we find ourselves beating our heads against some walls because they never were God’s walls. To evacuate a great cause simply because it isn’t easy is not what I’m suggesting. Could it be that we get some ministries set in our minds but such a goal gradually becomes a contest to see if we can conquer it? Could it be we are serving without the Spirit’s participation?
What shall we do? Look for His fruit. Look for the Spirit to bear fruit. One reason some of our work is too hard might be because it has been our work from the git-go. It was never His. Never fear genuine evaluation of a ministry. It belongs to Him to keep it going or to bring it to a conclusion. It might give you angst or heartburn to let it go…..but it might be time for such a consideration. I believe there are many instances where the best progress for a congregation is to kill off the non-productive events which drain us of time and energy. After all, did He have something to say about pruning the vine? And, for good reason?