How Do You Survive Ministry Weariness and Do Your Job
Devotional Thought of the Day
17 God also bound himself with an oath, so that those who received the promise could be perfectly sure that he would never change his mind. 18 So God has given both his promise and his oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us. 19 This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary. 20 Jesus has already gone in there for us. He has become our eternal High Priest in the order of Melchizedek. (Hebrews 6:17-20
122 You find yourself in a position which seems rather strange: on the one hand, you feel fainthearted, as you look inwards; on the other, sure, encouraged, as you look upwards. Don’t worry: it is a sign that you are beginning to know yourself better and— more importantly!—that you are beginning to know Him better. (1)
As things get more expensive, the ability of most churches to have sufficient staff that is compensated for their work has decreased dramatically. Where there might have been a couple of pastors, a youth worker and secretarial staff of 2 30 years ago, is now down to a full-time pastor, and maybe a part support person or two. Sometimes the pastor is blessed with a large amount of volunteer staff, but to train them and still be responsible for their ministry, adds to the burden.
It is no surprise that pastors, ministers, priests and the others who “minister” at the church burn out. Or simply get too weary to do things effectively. For a pastor putting in a sixty hour a week (or more) or a volunteer putting in 15-20 hours after their full-time job, weariness becomes a way of life, a pattern that seems unbreakable.
St. Josemaria’s words hit home to those in those periods of life. We look inwards and wonder how we will keep going. How can we do our job, not just passably, but well. After all, our ministry does have an importance like no other. It is not just a life or death situation, it is now and eternally a life or death/hell issue. So when we fall asleep on the job, what do we do?
We look up, we run to God for refuge, We find in Him our anchor for our souls. And anchor that pulls us into the Holiest of Holy places, into the presence of God Himself.
And this holy place, this sanctuary, this place where God dwells becomes our life. Because the Holy Spirit is given to us, we become that holiest place, Our feet are standing on Holy Ground because we are there. We find know His presence, exult in it. Which is why the letter of Hebrews talks about encouraging each other, helping each other, coming alongside and reminding us that God comes alongside us.
It is there, in the second someone says, “and also with you” as you share with them the Lord’s presence in their lives, that we find the strength. And the weariness fades long enough to drive home, and rest in His peace.
This is ministry… empowered by God… dwelling in His presence.. bringing Him to others who need to know that.
(1) Escriva, Josemaria (2011-01-31). Furrow (Kindle Locations 702-705). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.