I’ve blogged about AND included in one of my books some of the things that assure longevity in ministry. I’d like to use the word “success” but something about that word just feels dirty in the context and what some would think is meant by it. But regardless of how we package it we need to investigate how to help guys coming into ministry to stay in it is possible. An additional but vital one occurred to me.
A while back I was watching a congregation that I know to be going through major conflict. They have a couple of folks who are pushing ideas that are not in any way healthy for the Lord’s People and that are divisive in nature. It has created discomfort in the leadership as to the best way to approach it and even some apparent division as to IF to approach it.
In preparing for the engagement I went on their website to see where my assigned lesson fit in with the larger series. It was not simple to find so I had to go back four or five weeks to see the larger theme. As I read the minister’s words each week in the bulletin, highlighting the good, commending those who were serving, and encouraging faith, faithfulness and service, I was impressed with his optimism. Knowing what I know, knowing the struggle, knowing that all is not well, he chooses to focus on the good. He has decided to see the better inspire of the difficult.
It may be difficult to hear, but those who seem to always struggle seem to dwell on the difficult, muddle through ever mess, plod through every problem.
And it occurs to me that this is in fact what happens with every highly effective minister. They preach, pray for, and plan toward what can be and promote what is - good. I know some of you won't accept this reality but that guy who seems always to have it together and his work always seems to go swimmingly - he faces most of the same challenges the other ministers do.
So, want to do well in ministry? Foster the ability to see the finest even in the frustrating times.