Strange encounter today, but beautiful…
I had to see the cardiologist. Through conversation we started talking about his pastor. Sounds like a pretty neat guy!
He said that his pastor described ministry perfectly to him. I’d dare say it is the most accurate description I’ve ever heard!
So. Imagine you’re driving a bus. You’re blindfolded. Everyone on the bus is screaming different directions, “left,” “right,” “straight,” “stop.” But God is whispering in your ear to take a left turn. You’re telling everyone to trust you because you have direct orders from God. So, you take a left turn, and everyone gets angry and demands you let them off the bus. You begin to push back. You know that for their own good, it’s better to stay on the bus.
Regardless of the pouring rain and thunderstorm outside, they still demand you let them off the bus. With a broken heart, you stop the bus and let them off.
They are ungrateful for your lack of listening to them. They are angry because they assume your pride prevented you from hearing them. They are angry because you let them walk off the bus in a thunderstorm.
Bottom line. Ministry is very, very messy. I always say, “The church would be perfect if people weren’t in it.” Ministry is the most isolating thing you could ever possibly do. Surrounded by a sea of people every single week, you still feel so alone. It is hectic, stressful, sad, joyful, exciting, humbling. But mostly it’s just downright exhausting.
I’ve seen ministry destroy marriages, families, churches, and communities. Trust me. Your pastor is doing their best. Your leaders are serving because they have been called. Pray for them! Love them! Offer them much grace as you have been given much grace. That stage may be up higher, but being closer to the pulpit doesn’t make you closer to Jesus.
If you’ve been called to ministry by God. Praise God! This is a time to reflect, pray, go to God’s word, and evaluate your calling. Your faithful obedience to Christ must withstand the mess and muck of ministry life. Your busy city bus will be full of people from all walks of life, in different seasons with a different relationship with God. Their convictions and spiritual needs are burdens often laid at your feet. You will be there to remind them to surrender it all to Christ.
They are often screaming in the dark because they see church as a hospital, and they just want to be better and feel better. You will be persecuted! Remember this! Paul wrote so much about persecution coming from within the Church. Christ was persecuted from the religious, not the lost. You will cry many tears, experience many sleepless nights.
But God! No matter what you experience in the life of the Church, Christ experienced it first. As His servant, you pick up your cross, study His word and serve His people. Colossians 3:12-17.