Down, But Not Out!

I have been reflecting recently on what regular up-front ministry involves.  Whether one is a youth leader, a church leader, a regular preacher, a Sunday School teacher, etc, these and other ministries share something in common.  I’ll use preaching as the example for this brief post.

After preaching, if you are like most preacher’s, you probably don’t feel great every time.  It is nice, but it doesn’t always help to receive the positive feedback from folks.  Even with all positive feedback, it is easy to come away discouraged and drained, often self-evaluating and majoring on the minor mistakes made.

To go through this on a regular basis can lead to higher level (or should I say, deeper) draining.  Some of the great preachers of history struggled with depression.  Many of us also face the energy sapping that comes from regular ministry, whether or not it gets to that level.

I don’t want to use Paul’s words in 2Cor.4, because that would be an insult to the persecution he faced (and many of our brothers and sisters today).  However, in a very scaled down version we do need that same sense of being knocked down, but not knocked out.  Sunday comes, we give.  Monday comes, we may be drained and discouraged.  But Tuesday comes and we must stand up and press on!  How?  Only by keeping our eyes on Him who doesn’t change and is the same Sunday, Monday and Tuesday!

5 thoughts on “Down, But Not Out!

  1. ….Interesting that some ministers now move to Monday as their day off in recognition of a cyclothymic dip after preaching. Thank you for these thought provoking posts.

  2. No idea what that word means … but can fully sympathise with the “down-the-steps-out-of-the-pulpit-and-a-little-further-down-as-well” feelings!
    Satan will try and get us to feel good just as hard as he will try and get us to feel bad about our efforts. But who was ever sufficient for these things anyway?

  3. Apologies for the crossed wire. I was thinking in terms of cyclothymia as being at the lower end of bipolar spectrum in mood swings. Often goes unrecognized because it’s masked by creativity. As for cyclopaths, one definition is that it’s a tool for integrating cycle networks….!

    What I wondered was if some of the adrenalin ‘up’ while engaged in preaching (and all the relational elements of taking a service) has a commensurate downside in mood for those who might be slightly more susceptible – and hence more vulnerable spiritually, as you have said. Integration of body, mind and spirit – even when preaching in the Lord’s strength?

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