Whilst being a minister is not that difficult (as my last post indicated) it is also harder than it looks. Over the last few years I’ve come to recognise a few of the reasons why.
1. The demands are relentless. It is not necessarily the volume but the fact that it keeps coming. Emails and other electronic communications, requests for one thing or the other all keep rolling in. Likewise things happen in people’s lives and they appreciate your interest and concern. Whilst you can have systems to deal with all of this, you can’t avoid expending yourself on them. This can be energy sapping unless you find ways to re-charge.
2. What you can measure isn’t what counts. There are things you can count (church attendance, growth, baptisms, visits, meetings and so on) but at best they are indicative rather than the important stuff, which is about discipleship, the kingdom of God and transformation.
3. The key task is to articulate vision and enable a strategy to move towards it. Doing so with clarity whilst at the same time feeling your way forward, being open to the Spirit and seeking to enable the church to discern the mind of Christ is more of a challenge. Add into this the fact vision is not just about the future but about the church culture now and you begin to see the challenge. All of which needs to be thought about in a context of change where big questions need to be asked about how we do church, how we engage in mission in a post (modern / Christendom / ……) world.
4. You are called to be a man (or woman) of God. Because of the call on your life people look to you, not necessarily to give the answers, but stand with them as we seek God together. As Jacob came to see, this is not all about living under an open heaven but, on occasion, wrestling with God as well.
In the end though, ministry is about being who you are and working to be who God calls you to be. You will never be perfect you just have to give it your best shot.