I speak to the younger leaders. We have a great crop of disciples coming up; a very rich crop. What I wish to address is how to keep the feeling of freshness after fifteen and twenty years. There are several things to note; first know of the great possibility. Do not be surprised at the gratitude which rushes your way while you are so privileged to work with the church.
One of the questions only you can answer is how will you handle mistreatment?
Your response will affect your view of perpetually enjoying your ministry. We need to understand mistreatment is essential. We are targeted for it. It belongs in our job description. And...we need it.
Mistreatment is tough. It isn't a time for "poor me". It is a time to realize the walk of Jesus is now beneath your feet. You are in his shoes....on purpose.
Anybody can preach. Anyone can lead a committee. Whether we will hang in there when taking another abusive chewing or yet another cutting innuendo is of importance.
This was difficult for me for I wanted everyone to like me. Strangely, I thought I could make it happen; I thought I would be the exception to the rule and everyone would like me because my mom said I was lovable.
In working with a congregation of 450, I haven't been able to keep everyone happy. Before Memorial in working with a church of 100, I couldn't pull it off there either. And finally....when at my first church of 8, I couldn't do it there either...and I thought at least there the odds were so favorable.
It is important that we remember mistreatment goes two ways. I am guilty of the very thing I resent. Nevertheless, when such is coming your way.....accept it. It belongs to you. You have taken up his cross. Being bitten is supposed to be going on while you serve.
Don't be discouraged when in a tangle. Thank Him for it. Learn to boast of your inadequacies. He is serious about that....II Cor. 12:9-11. When mistreatment becomes a part of your work, suddenly you will begin to use the very thing you wished to escape as your fuel to keep you afloat. Blessed are those who are persecuted in his name. It goes on. We can prove it by our tears.
Don't quit. There isn't something wrong with you. It is part of your job description.