My heart hurts as I read stories of ministers facing burnout, depression, and leaving ministry. The present COVID crisis and political conflicts add to the normal stress. We need long conversations. We need to work on ways to bring help. Here are a few thoughts I wrote in the book. Pause for Pastors: Finding Still Waters in the Storm of Ministry.
Ministry is a strange collection of nouns and verbs. The people and places and things. The action. The dates and events and performances. The action. The buildings and songs and lights. The action.
We live as nouns taking action. We are. We do. And we keep the movement moving. We keep the sentence of ministry in motion. Very much, very often. Rarely a pause, a wait, a delay. Unless we are so dry and cold in a tradition of structure that very few nouns are moving and very few verbs are needed.
So, where is the balance? In our personal lives. In our own formation.
Before selecting and collecting the strategic nouns and verbs for a church success story, what nouns and verbs describe us personally? What sentence illustrates how God decides the action in our lives, how God becomes the key character, how God guides the sentence of our personal development?
Before completing our church agenda, can we learn to rest in the wonder of a holy sentence with God leading?
Before working to seek congregational success, can we choose to slow the pace and notice God’s editorial services?
Before rushing to complete a sentence of the next phase of our accomplishments, can we unplug and let God guide the story?
What nouns and verbs describe your ministry?
What nouns and verbs describe your personal relationship with God?
Think about your own story. What are the nouns revealing who you are? What are the verbs describing what you do? Look for ways to let Christ be the center of the story. Look for ways to make time for Him and His people, and how your story is changed because of those conversations. Write about that transformation.