Donna Hostetler, June 29, 2015
I recently attended an anniversary party. Not your typical anniversary as this couple was celebrating 70 years of marriage. The 94 year old husband shared many of their 70 years’ journey highlights and a few challenges along the way. A marriage of 70 years requires commitment with a capitol C.
Serving in ministry also requires a huge commitment. There are the “highs” and “lows.” Perhaps some of the highs:
- A successful event
- A well delivered message
- A healthy response to a call for volunteers
- Numerical growth. And many, many more “highs” too numerous to name.
The lows might include:
- Lack of resources or funds
- Negative congregant(s) opinion
- Lack of volunteers
- An intense schedule
The “lows” can be discouraging causing us to want to give up the commitment. No wonder the scripture speaks of weariness—even in well doing. It happens! I believe the Lord desires to provide us renewal. I think too we have the responsibility to create margin in our lives to stop and become refreshed. The ministry (as the laundry) never gets done. There’s always another meeting to attend, message or lesson to prepare, event to plan, or multiple tasks to complete. The ministry commitment is more sustainable with soul care and physical rest. I know because I’ve personally faced the challenge and talked with others who share the experience.
The nature of a pastor’s role or a staff pastor is to analyze all things related to Sunday—the service, the attendance, what was right and what wasn’t! Personal worship is not easily accomplished without great focus.
Are you weary? Do you need to consider a day of quiet, personal renewal at a local monastery, a fun day with your spouse free from your cell phone, or perhaps a Saturday night visit to another church to worship or a week away? Don’t hesitate to take care of yourself. It’s the godly thing to do. This is vital ministry strategy as much as planning your upcoming programming or next series. You can’t give from an empty vessel. Give yourself a break!
Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. NIV, Isaiah 40:28-31
What will you do to find renewal?