I learned yesterday of yet another preacher/friend who is hurting over his work. Many of our pulpit ministers carry heavy struggles. I hear of reports week after week. Thus, I write to encourage you if you are a preacher. And, I write to encourage you if you know of one who is under fire.
What do we do? We take faithful action. We don't run. We don't quit. And, for heaven's sake, we don't act as if we have a God who is hand-cuffed. We become pro-active in our pursuit of the greatest work on earth; God's kingdom. Therefore, consider ideas of which some might work where you live.
Realize that your work does not depend on whether one or a group of men change their ways. Your success depends on whether God works. Focus on God. Jesus pleaded we seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things would be added to us. This is true. We get so tired of fighting gossip wars and opinion polls that, if not careful, we divert our attention from the real work. We become obsessed with winning instead of serving.
This may sound terribly simple buy I must tell you I've experienced the joys of this practice: believe God will work. How easy it is to slip into wishful management mode: get an elder to move away here, get a sister to back off there, get a donor to cough up funds over there and then I believe the church will flourish. No. No.
Each obstacle is there for your personal training. I've had elders that didn't like me and worked intentionally against me. I would not quit. I cried a lot; but I would not quit because I truly believed God would work. And, He did. I've had elders misunderstand me. I would not quit; but I've learned to communicate more efficiently. I've had members threaten me (call meetings to get me fired) but Memorial's work was never dependent on that group or on me. It was always the Lord who could move mountains and I simply decided to believe He could do it.
Crying some lately? Developing bitterness? You have my sympathy. But here are two things to give you guidance: intentionally determine to not quit and equally determine that you will not waste this valuable experience; but you will learn from it. We are not perfect, either. We must keep this in mind. "They" aren't the issue. Believing God is the real issue. If you give up because of a person(s) it will be your lack of faith; not theirs.
Be highly encouraged. Jesus walked on water, healed strangers, and raised the dead. He is not stumped by your riddle. He knows the perfect solution to your work dilemma. Yes, the church can be a head-ache. Keep in mind the cross was for dying upon and not for sitting on church roofs. Don't be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you as if some strange thing were happening to you....Peter said in his first volume.
You have a great calling. It's worth the heat you take. Let's build momentum by deciding together we will not run; we are going to take the heat!