Thursday, May 13, 2010


Before one would conclude I am about to brag or complain, I write of neither. 

Rather I address leaders of every tenure (some just beginning/others who have been at it a long time) about what it is like to be in ministry 35 years and at one place for well over 32.  Why?  Because I believe some of you may want to consider a perplexing mood we each may encounter along the way.

I'm going through a very curious time.  I feel awkward; as in nearly out of touch.  People are too good to me, so I'm not feeling neglected.  I love God, so I'm not sensing doubt.  My problem is I don't know what I'm doing....still.

While this feeling isn't negative, it is confusing to my spirit.  As I grow in Jesus, I find myself literally decreasing to the point I just feel flat weird.  I seem to have no plans.  I am crazy about my job but I seem nearly directionless....yet I don't desire cumbersome direction as a cure.

I work.  I love the work.  I don't feel out of touch.....but I don't feel like I know what's going on.  Wonderful, delightful things go on all around me;even with me.  I keep thinking, Huh?

The reason I say this is that many who begin ministry feel the day is coming when you will turn some designated corner and sense somewhat of a grip on your work.  I say to you that it won't get better.  You'll love ministry; but you won't reach a day where you grasp the kingdom labor, for God works so oppositely of our assumed approach.

I say we are wonderfully learning that the work we thought was ours is turning out to be mistaken; it really has been His all along.  I have waged inner war with my need to control, to direct, to manage, and to perform.  God continues to unravel this self-centered appetite.  While this is all is really different than how I thought ministry would go.

Perfect?  Complete?  Far from both.  But the process is what I alert you to.  You will not find yourself becoming more; more effective, more affluent, nor more in control.  Your experience...if in Jesus...will likely be the opposite.  Don't be surprised.  And, don't think there is something wrong with you.  There isn't.  There is something right going on. 

God is moving in and about your ministry.  He remains bursting with surprise and mystery.  For us to connect to His work, this procedure will hopefully leave us hungering for more instead of dispensing platitudes of grand self-accomplishment. a good thing.

In essence this post is really about what it may be like to be you.

I remain in kindergarten in the kingdom.....and I absolutely enjoy the challenge of being clueless.


Stoogelover said...

You described rather accurately my last 5-6 years of preaching. I felt more and more inadequate for the job, and loved it more each day! Finally giving up control is a wonderful freedom in ministry. Having a supportive, encouraging eldership was great! Even the members who didn't particularly like me were less bothersome to my spirit.

Were I ever to return to the ministry of preaching, I would be a better minister ... and your blogs have been a wonderful source of refreshment.

Brian said...

What a connection. I am this post!