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!