Friday, December 19, 2008

Embrace Ministry Sadness

When I signed up to do ministry I saw hope and promise for people who find Christ. What no one really told me was how much pain people suffer. And, coming from a healthy home, I couldn't project how much sadness I would carry for others...
  • Ministry sadness is Jamie (I changed the name). At 19 years old, she had a 15 month old son whom she had to give up to foster care because she couldn't provide for him. The boy's dad lived with Jamie on her minimum wage, part time salary. Then, Jamie got pregnant again from a different guy. This guy then went to prison for who knows what. She was months along in her pregnancy and had no prenatal medical care. Still sleeping around.
  • Ministry sadness is the freshman guy who has no one to care for him. He smells and has greasy hair because no one has trained him to take care of himself.
  • Ministry sadness is the adult man in tears because of his financial failure.
  • Ministry sadness is my frustration for so many who are unresponsive to Jesus, or who reject wisdom, or who are stuck.
How do you overcome ministry sadness?
  1. Sometimes you just have to embrace the sadness. That is, cry.
  2. I'm not designed to carry my ministry sadness alone. And sharing it with others doesn't really relieve it. Only the Comforter's shoulders are broad enough to bear ministry sadness. Only Jesus shed tears of blood.
  3. Remember, we hurt a lot when we care a lot.
What gives you ministry sadness? How do you overcome ministry sadness?

1 comment:

  1. Ministry sadness is watching teens you invest in betray you. They promise but disappoint.

    Ministry sadness is watching the 12th graders that you have served for 7 years graduate and leave town.

    Ministry sadness is watching a homeless man assemble a meal out of the dumpster and then eat it.

    I deal with it as grief, forgiveness, and only through praying through it.

    Chris W