Disappointment leads to discouragement in ministry. As I have shared with pastors before, you must see these times as seasons, meaning they come and go. Nevertheless, how do you make it through the difficult seasons of ministry?
The best way I can share about this subject is to relate how I personally have made it through difficult seasons of ministry. Let me give you four ways I have made it through these seasons.
1. Do not ever neglect your personal time with God daily.
A consistent, daily time with God will help you make it through the difficult seasons of ministry. When your time is based upon the reading of Scripture, time in specific prayer, and even journaling your walk with God, it helps you make it through these seasons of difficulty.
Try your best not to wait for a perfect time to do this each day. It will not exist. Begin your day, every day, with God. I do my time early each day, but the main thing is doing it the first thing every day.
2. Stay in the Bible when you preach.
Refuse to take your disappointment and discouragement to the pulpit with you unless it is a church-wide issue that must be addressed. This rarely happens, so be careful. Oftentimes, pastors take their feelings to the pulpit and before you know it, you are not preaching the Bible to your people, but sharing about things that probably need to be kept within church leadership or even just with you and Jesus.
Satan will do all he can to get you away from the Word, not only personally, but in your preaching. Stay in the Word when you preach. Years ago, a pastor told me something I have never forgotten: "When you are disappointed, discouraged or angry with the church, preach on love; when you are full of love, let them have it!" I don't know about the "let them have it" part, but it is still good counsel every pastor needs to hear. Stay in the Word of God in your preaching!
3. Keep your head down in leading the church.
When a rift happens in the church or when difficulty enters into a season of your ministry, keep your head down in leading the church. Remain focused and refuse to stray away from leading the people to fulfill the missional vision of the church. Do not drift away from the mission.
Seasons of difficulty can really distract the pastor. Do not let them. Great pastors build great churches because they stay focused in leading the church. In the good times and in the bad times ... lead!
4. Take time away from the church weekly.
When troubled and difficult times come, we often think that if we work hard enough, they will go away. Unquestionably, we need to work hard, but we also need to walk with wisdom. Take your day off weekly. Do not neglect it.
Do not minimize taking time away from the church weekly. And when vacation time comes, take time away.
Pastor, you can make it. God is with you. I am pulling for you.
Dr. Ronnie Floyd is the senior pastor of Cross Church, president of the National Day of Prayer, founder of the Cross Church School of Ministry and host of the "Ronnie Floyd on Life and Leadership Today" podcast.
Get Spirit-filled content delivered right to your inbox! Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.
Help Charisma stay strong for years to come as we report on life in the Spirit. Become an integral part of Charisma’s work by joining Charisma Media Partners. Click here to keep us strong!
Dr. Mark Rutland's
National Institute of Christian Leadership (NICL)
The NICL is one of the top leadership training programs in the U.S. taught by Dr. Mark Rutland. If you're the type of leader that likes to have total control over every aspect of your ministry and your future success, the NICL is right for you!
FREE NICL MINI-COURSE - Enroll for 3-hours of training from Dr. Rutland's full leadership course. Experience the NICL and decide if this training is right for you and your team.Do you feel stuck? Do you feel like you’re not growing? Do you need help from an expert in leadership? There is no other leadership training like the NICL. Gain the leadership skills and confidence you need to lead your church, business or ministry. Get ready to accomplish all of your God-given dreams. CLICK HERE for NICL training dates and details.
The NICL Online is an option for any leader with time or schedule constraints. It's also for leaders who want to expedite their training to receive advanced standing for Master Level credit hours. Work through Dr. Rutland's full training from the comfort of your home or ministry at your pace. Learn more about NICL Online. Learn more about NICL Online.