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The Challenges of The Ministry

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Burnout related to the work of ministry is a reality one can avoid. The stats related to the issue say that over 57% of respondents would leave the ministry if they could; 71% struggle with depression; 80% leave within 5 years; 70% feel they have no close friends and 75% feel unqualified (lecture. Pape). These numbers do not bode very well for those considering entering the ministry, not to mention the fact that compensation may not be at the top of Glassdoor’s salary rank. Therefore, the work of the ministry must be a calling. 

One must be sure of divine guidance to work in the field.  The good news is that there are numerous steps one can take to reduce or prevent burnout – these include taking care of my health; having a hobby; making time for family and friends; keeping the learning wheels turning (a leader must constantly learn new things) and having adult friends.

Now, one thing we should not do both personally and professionally is to “neglect the inner man” (96).

Just like the cavalry officer who keeps his sword sharp, clean, and stain-free (96), so too should the Minister. The Minister is a God-bearer, who should always be ready to defend and protect the interests of his Master. This means he should seek purity and perfection – “according to this will be his success”. This commitment to righteousness makes the minister “an awful weapon in God’s hand” (96). There must be “an integration of both public and private morality in what is called Integrity”. We are not called to “sinless perfection” (107), but we are held to a high moral standard, with Jesus being true north. Leadership “is a privilege, not a right” (113) and we would do well to remember this. Keep in mind that a leader’s character is also colored by his “sexual morality, proven family leadership, and his purity of attitude and conduct” (106). The Lord has provided guidelines for how we ought to conduct ourselves in His guidebook, specifically the words of Titus and 1 & 2 Timothy.

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