If your experience is like mine, you’ve discovered that Satan does everything he can to rob you of your joy in the ministry.
But it’s not just ministry. In every area of life, we face ongoing pressure and the potential for a loss of joy. We have to be wise to sense when that discouragement is developing so we can rebuild and maintain the joy of the Lord.
In this short growth points video, I share six ways the Lord has taught me to maintain or rebuild joy:
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Relationships are vital to ministry. Whether you are a pastor, a church staff member, or serve as a leader in any area of church ministry, cultivating strong relationships is a necessary investment.
Relational-less ministry is both ineffective and harmful. It is ineffective because if we look at ministry only as a checklist, we may fulfill action-item duties, but we’ll not influence lives. It is harmful because it leaves the leader without one of the key resources to sustain faithfulness and accomplish their calling.
Relationships take time and purpose to develop. They also become the greatest treasures of life. (more…)
If the ministry is anything, it is labor. Paul told Timothy, “This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work” (1 Timothy 3:1). And that is exactly what it is—work.
I know there are many who look at a pastor or those who serve on a church staff and think they have something close to a one-day-a-week job. But the truth is far different. Caring for the church as a faithful undersheperd requires not only sermon preparation and administrative work, but also the love, prayer, care, bearing others’ needs, and intense spiritual warfare that Paul referenced when he wrote, “Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches” (2 Corinthians 11:28).
But the work of the ministry is a great work. It’s a work I love, and I get to do it for people I love. Does it have inherent burdens? Yes. But does it have inherent joys? A hundred fold more. (more…)
Near the end of each summer, our staff pulls away from daily responsibilities for two days of training—usually at an off campus location. I greatly look forward to this time and spend many hours preparing for it. Although we have staff meeting each week, this annual staff orientation is a time when we pause, evaluate, adjust, and move forward as a team with renewed focus and momentum.
If you are a pastor, I highly recommend planning something similar with your staff. I look forward to sharing the burden God has placed on my heart for our church and ministries, and I know our staff appreciates the time to zero in on catching that vision and planning how to incorporate it in their specific areas of ministry.
Our staff orientation this year began yesterday. As we are engaged in this time of equipping and training, here are five specific goals I’m praying to see accomplished among our staff: (more…)
“The nice thing about apathy is you don’t have to exert yourself to show you’re sincere about it.”—Anonymous
The bad thing about apathy, however—at least, spiritual apathy—is everything.
There are few things a pastor or spiritual leader fears more than apathy. (And if we’re wise, we fear it creeping into our own hearts as much as we fear it undermining the spiritual growth of those we lead.)
How do we recognize and diagnose apathy before it’s too late? Below are seven symptoms of spiritual apathy in the local church: (more…)
People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within. — Elizabeth Kubler Ross