PLEASE, READ THIS ENTIRE ARTICLE.
A lot of ministry involves trying to pull people up that are trying to pull you down. Some people can't be helped because they don't want help and no matter how much you want to help them, it's a waste of your time. IT'S CRUSHING.
From a pastoral point of view, I sometimes find myself thinking of how much damage people have done to me. How much of myself I have given that was never reciprocated. How much of my life I've sacrificed for people that don't care. How many wounds I have within that have never healed. How many people have walked out on me when I had to stay. How tiresome it is trying to fulfill a vision that requires the participation of people who don't care about that vision. How I'm often drowning in the pain these things have caused and cannot swim out of it. IT'S CRUSHING.
I'm pretty sure I'm not the first to feel these things and I won't be the last. I do know this, when I start feeling that way, thinking about these things, I'VE LOST FOCUS.
Christian Leaders, if you're there now, I want to share 3 things with you.
1. FOCUS ON CHRIST. You work for Him. He sacrificed far more for you than you have for Him. If you are hurting because of rejection, He's been rejected more. If people have hurt you, He's been hurt more. If you've had people walk out on you, He's had more. If you've been lied on, He's been lied on more. You work for Him. He gave up everything for you and those that we are trying to reach. He deserves your loyalty and He will reward your sacrifice.
2. PRAY. Ministry is hard-a humanly impossible task. It requires the power of the Spirit. You must stay strong in Christ. You must be filled with God and continuously feel His love and grace. You must stay connected to Him or else the pain will be all you see and feel. Stay close to Jesus. People's cruelty will pale in comparison to His life flowing through you.
3. NEVER FORGET THE VALUE OF ONE SOUL. If you're like me you have the vision, the desire, to see thousands of people saved, but that's not the reality. When you don't see everything you desire happening, you feel worthless. You feel like a failure because the church isn't full, because the people are so unfaithful. You study, pray and prepare so you can feed people that are too busy to even attend the services when you should be studying, praying and preparing for the few that do show up. Dear friend, one person is worth the fight. Jesus would have died for only one person. We, too, must be willing to sacrifice for just one, but we can't do that if we don't remember the value of one soul.
Peace. Love. Hope.