Tuesday, June 29, 2010

MINISTRY: ITS UPS AND ITS DOWNS (PT. #2)

Ministry is the most fascinating work ever!  To directly connect an earthly walk with a heavenly order is the ultimate experience of mankind.  What a trip!

Taking our queue from the cross the immediate understanding is we will be killed for our work...and we've got it coming.  This pretty much eliminates the surprise when things don't go as planned.  Too, the cross informs us immediately there will be many "downs". 

So since it is clear we will take many shots of attack along the way, how do we keep going?  The answer is as simply as the big commands; love God and love people.  I'm convinced that if either of these two elements should be absent, we will live in perpetual frustration and irritation.

When you love God you will not give up.  When you love people you will not quit believing in what they can become.  Your fire will stay bright.

Some, though, really give lip-service to these main things.  In reality these are in it for the work...they love church work.  The tongue-in-cheek joke that "I love the church; it's the people I can't stand" comes into focus.  The missionaries, ministerial staff, and volunteers who feel that way are often sweatingly  and fatiguedly miserable. 

God's ministry doesn't cause misery.  It may cause disturbance, confusion, and pain; but it will not cause misery. 

Out of sorts with the church?  This serves as a signal that you may need to revive your devotion to the two greatest commands.  Otherwise, it is the end of the line and everyone knows it but you. 

Stay alive!  Love God!  Love people!  This is the "up" to ministry!

2 comments:

mdh_fresno said...

I'm a minister of a very small congregation in the mountains of California. Yesterday was a "down" day for me due to so much negativity on an upcoming event I have going. Last night I unloaded on my wife who is miles away right now taking care of family business. I didn't sleep last night but I prayed for wisdom. Today a fellow minister told me about your blog and I read your thoughts on ministry and misery. God blessed me through you today. Thank you.

JV said...

mdh_fresno, I can definitely sense the heaviness of your heart in your post. You, your wife / family, and your congregation are in my prayers today.

May the Spirit of peace be upon you.