What I wish someone would have told me about ministry . . .

The other day I was asked, “What do you wish you had known before you went into ministry?”

Here it is: The Mental Battle of Ministry

No one ever told me how ministry would be a mental battle that you face every day.

Things like  . . .

  • Not being able to sleep at night because you can’t shut your mind off from the counseling appointment you had that day. You wonder if you said the right thing or gave them the right homework.
  • After speaking you replay the message over and over in your mind and people’s reaction to it.
  • Watching people make decisions that go against the Word that you taught them; then beginning to think back to what you could have done better.

Now I understand why Peter said, “Prepare your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope” on Jesus. (1:13) The battle can only be won through setting our mind on Christ (Phil. 2:5).

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8 thoughts on “What I wish someone would have told me about ministry . . .

  1. I know it takes its toll on you, Steve, but it’s fantastic that your investment in people’s lives matters so much to you. And it’s one of the biggest reasons why you’re so effective. Thanks for all you do.

  2. Sounds a lot like the parenting tasks of the day (or any shepherd of lost lambs, I suppose). In regards to what they told you about ministry, I wonder if you were told how many lives the Lord would touch in a single day through one of your very dynamic messages, Steve – not just those sitting in the worship center but those who indirectly received the message second hand. Sometime consider how many couples are not in your office for counseling because they took to heart one of your messages regarding the marriage relationship. I hope they prepared you to understand the impact that a pastor has on one of their members in a hospital waiting room, and the unique perspective you are able to offer to those having their worst day ever. Not to add to your list of pressures that keep you up at night, and not to offer any artificial pat on the back, which our pastors are all far to humble to accept anyway, but know the gratitude our congregation has for the personal investment you and your colleagues have made in our lives. Know that your sincerity and your example are truly part of “what matters most”.

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