If I were asked (and often am…), “What is the best/worst part of being in ministry?” the answer is simple. The best and worst part of being in ministry is the same thing: people.
People are the best thing about ministry because I get to see people who are far from God awakened with life in Christ. I get to watch a new or stagnant Christ-follower make the tough choices that separate them from who they were and who they are in Christ. I get to see God work in unique and powerful ways. Hurt people learn to forgive, selfish people learn generosity, and the work of God moves on. People are easily the greatest, most rewarding thing, not just in ministry, but in life as a whole.
But people are also the hardest part of ministry! People can be mean, unforgiving, hypocritical, arrogant, and beligerent. And that’s just from some people that claim to follow Jesus! I’ve seen people that we have poured our lives into betray us and hurt us. I’ve had people that I thouht were committed to the work God was doing at our church leave us for the new “cool” ministry down the road. A blow to any leader’s emotions. I’ve watched other church leaders run off on their spouse. And perhaps the most frustrating, watching someone attend every week, go through the motions, but never take hold of the life Christ is waiting for them to step into. They “have a form of godliness but deny the power thereof.” It’s like getting married and then going back to the way you lived before you met your spouse.
But for every frustration, heartache, and let-down, the joy that comes from seeing a life genuinely changed is worth it. You can’t get into a fight without expecting to get dirty. Life and ministry are messy! But nothing worthwhile is ever easy. And people are worth it!
This is coming straight from Perry Noble, pastor of NewSpring Church in SC and deserves reposting. Some apply more to men, some apply more to women. Here are 18 myths that singles buy into:
- #1: Being miserable is the result of being single…getting married will solve all my problems.
- #2: I’ve messed up in my past and do not deserve anyone good. (See I Corinthians 6:9-11, especially focus on verse 11!)
- #3: Ephesians 3:20 isn’t true for me and my future spouse…I need to settle.
- #4: This relationship that I am in isn’t what I would like my marriage to be like..but when we get married I can change this person.
- #5: Having sex will simplify things and cause the person I am dating and myself to have so much more in common. (See I Corinthians 6:18-20)
- #6: This person is not God’s best for me…but if I rush through the process of dating and getting married then I have God backed into a corner and He has to bless me because He loves me, right? (See Deuteronomy 6:16)
- #7: Marriage isn’t that big of a deal…if my first one does not work out then I can drop them and start over. (See Malachi 2:13-16)
- #8: Getting married isn’t going to alter my lifestyle…I am still going to be able to live like I did when I was single, the only difference is I’m going to get to have more sex.
- #9: I am going to get to have sex anytime I want.
- #10: We are going to cuddle all of the time.
- #11: The things that really get all over my nerves about this person won’t bother me as much when we get married.
- #12: The fact that we do not agree on what we believe when it comes to Jesus and the church will not impact the way we raise our kids. (See II Corinthians 6:14 and Amos 3:3)
- #13: We should live together before we get married to give it a “trial run,” after all, you would not buy a car without test driving it first. (See Hebrews 13:4)
- #14: I need to keep as many secrets about my past from this person as possible; after all, my past issues won’t impact this relationship at all.
- #15: All of my friends are married…I am not…something is obviously wrong with me.
- #16: The way I handle my money now will not impact my future marriage.
- #17: When I get married my spouse will meet all of my needs.
- #18: Dating is tough…marriage is easy!