Preaching the Word of God every week for years can be a daunting task. Add to that the day to day work associated with preaching and ministering among a group of God’s people, then you have a recipe for discouragement, difficult days, or even burnout.
During different seasons of my life, when the work has seemed somewhat overwhelming, I have found relief and rest in varying ways. At times, it has seemed to help to get away, disconnect for a short time, or just take a break. These times have been best when spent with my wife, children, particularly grandchildren in the past few years, and/or close, close friends.
At other times, when feelings of discouragement or even depression have enveloped me, it has helped to engage with others. Serving others and involving ourselves in the lives of others, can potentially help us get out of our difficulties and challenges.
Every one of us are different and we cope with stress in different ways. As I mentioned, we may even find different ways of coping during different seasons of our own lives.
Here’s one thing I have learned that is certain during the past forty plus years of trying to work for the Lord. Preaching & ministering in a local church does not happen most effectively in the abstract. We don’t prepare sermons to preach in empty buildings and we don’t preach to faceless people.
In the vast majority of the circumstances of life, we can’t minister to people through a computer sitting on our desk.
Our Lord works most effectively through real preachers who preach to real people. It seems, at least to me, that one of the blessings of not preaching for a megachurch is the opportunity to really get to know people. To sometimes be intimately involved in the lives of people we know.
If you are struggling this week, try your best to find someone who you can help. Someone who needs you to serve them, to minister to them, to care for them. It might be a needed reminder of how vital you are to the work of the Lord. He needs you, He loves you, and by the way, so do we!