Ministry can be tough.
Our hearts are prone to dissatisfaction and grow weary very quickly. When the pressures of pastoral ministry begin to stack up, the desire to run creeps in. We find ourselves continuously unhappy with our circumstances and begin to wonder what it would be like to pastor a different church or serve in a different capacity.
We begin to pray whiney prayers like “Lord… you know my situation,” “These people are just so _____,” or “I’ve been here for ____ years now.” or “I can’t handle one more person leaving…”
Discontentment is a weed that distracts from God’s will for your life. Foundationally, discontentment is pride. It begins to grow in the heart when you begin thinking you deserve better or more than you have been given. The motive for pastoring shifts from sheep-tending to shepherd-wandering. You begin to pursue what’s next for you and look at your current role as a launching pad for your next church that you truly believe is much better than the one God has you at now. You begin to gaze away from your flock which results in neglecting them.
Pastor, you primary calling is to the people God has you with now, not who you think you deserve… or who you want to have…. or who you wish you had. Your ministry is to who God has given you. As we labor faithfully in our current positions, we are to do so with an assured understanding that God has us where he wants us and will move us when and where he wants us, in his timing, not ours. He has called us and prepared us for these days. When you feel week, remember that we minister in his grace and strength, not our own.
As we consider God’s course of history in light of our circumstances, let us remember that our enemy has already been defeated. His head has been crushed and our King has been crowned. And our King is working all things to the glory of his great name. Your current position has been given to you by him to shepherd faithfully and live for his glory, not your own.
Stand confidently and contently in God’s pleasing placement for you and your family, until he moves you otherwise. Discontentment will lead you to despair.