This article comes from "The Resurgence" website. You can find the original article HERE.
My counselor told me of a study that was performed in 2007 of people in the ministry. He said that around 90% of the people entering the ministry do not finish—they either disqualify themselves or flat out quit! In light of this I wanted to share four questions I believe leaders should ask themselves:
1. Did I Really Think This Would Be Easy?
Read Luke 9:23…seriously, go ahead! "Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me." Where in the world did we ever get the idea that this was supposed to be easy? We are followers of Jesus who went all the way to to cross, yet for some reason we think he's called us to recline. Saying that ministry is hard is like a Navy Seal complaining to his commanding officer that his job is too hard! The CO would simply respond, "Of course it is…you are a Navy Seal!" The same can be said in ministry—it will never be easy but it will always be worth it. Thinking that ministry should be easy is one of the quickest ways to lose heart and quit!
2. Did I Really Think I Had This All Figured Out?
There is no way you could possibly begin to know what God is going to do in your church in the next 3-5 years. I know I will probably get roasted for this, but I honestly think that 3-5 year strategic plans are stupid! We have no idea what the condition of the world will be in the next 3-5 years…much less what our church is going to look like. We've simply got to learn to listen to the voice of God and follow Him one step at a time. And when our well devised plans and strategies seem to fall short, it's probably just going to get our attention to focus on him instead of trying to get him to put his stamp of approval on our well developed plan! (Acts 2 was not the result of a well thought out strategy but rather a group of men and women who were completely focused on Jesus and filled with this Holy Spirit!)
Thinking that ministry should be easy is one of the quickest ways to lose heart and quit!
3. Did I Really Think I Could Please Everyone?
Read Luke 4:14-30 and keep in mind this is JESUS and, after his sermon people took him to a cliff to throw him off of it! That's a rough response to a sermon! If he could not please everyone, neither can you. Please see Galatians 1:10; our call is to please him, not "them!" When we make it our goal to keep the sheep happy we will wind up disappointing the Chief Shepherd and live a ministry life of disappointment and frustration.
4. Did I Really Think I Could Do This On My Own?
So, read Zechariah 4:6…seriously! One of the things that success can do to us (if we are not careful) is force us into a mindset that we are somehow responsible for God's blessing, and we've got to work really hard to "out-do" ourselves. The result of this type of thinking is always burnout and unbelievable stress. God called us so that he would work through us and his power working through us is always the difference maker. Allowing him to work in us, preparing us, revealing himself to us and shaping us is the best way we can do what he has called us to do.
Those questions are helpful to me. I have read and re-read them several times over the last year. What self-asked question would you add to the list?