The hardship of ministry

It seems like forever since my last update, which was only two weeks ago, and the holidays have seemed busier than my normal schedule. I find it ironic, given my exhausting schedule, that this past weekend I ran a seminar about the importance of good ministry practice looking at such issues of teamwork and the need to rest when this last two weeks have been difficult in those areas. The words are echoing in my mind,

“Ministry is hard and we cannot hope to accomplish it alone”


“The busier you are, the more critical it is for you to take a day off”

…the irony is not lost in these words as I reflect upon them.

One of the biggest hardships of ministry, especially as a single person, is the loneliness that accompanies it. I have the privilege of working with a great team of people and have support from the leadership that I’m accountable to, however, if you know me well, you will know that the plans that I dream and envision for my ministry are big. The hard thing about things that are big is that there are few people who are able to capture the energy and passion of my dreams and visions. It’s not that people don’t want to, but they can’t see what I see. The journey of sharing one’s dreams and visions takes time and effort before others will capture it also.

It is both a gift and a curse; people will think you are off the planet, off in the clouds, dreaming half the time instead of spending time working hard. If people don’t share the energy and passion for your dreams and visions, then people think your ego has got the best of you and they lose their trust in your ability to work orderly and effectively. On the other hand, when people capture your dreams and visions, you instantly have your own marketing campaign and work team to help see your dreams achieved. It is a long road to walk, but for all the difficulties, the results and rewards are beyond words.

Despite the downcast attitude I seem to have, I’m a firm believer that visionaries must be people of action or recruiters of action-minded people. Dreams and visions are of no value unless they are put to the test and tried in practice. As such, being part of team that trusts me, empowers me and supports me is a blessing that I know is hard to come by. I am grateful for each one of them and any success, naturally all glory to God, is due credit to their hard-working contribution and support.

I don’t paint a very nice picture of what ministry is like, especially at the top end where there is a lot of expectation involved. It’s hard, but as I said earlier before, it’s well worth it. For me, to see people grow in their relationship with God, to see them grow in their potential to achieve great things, to see them get a glimpse of the things of heaven, to see people grasp what life holds for them – that is worth the hardship, the loneliness, the battles and the tears. Just for a single person, it’s all worth it.