I was chattin’ it up with a young pastor the other day and he was telling me how he was doing in ministry. it was a hard season and being young was giving him tons of obstacles that were really difficult. I was humored to hear him say that he couldn’t wait to until ministry got easier, you know, when he was older and wiser and far from the hardships of ministry struggles. he is having a hard time with the senior pastor and other members of staff. they throw a bunch of stuff his way and it seems that he cannot get stuff done quick enough, no matter what he did. when deadlines were met he was given little to no recognition. and it was not really about the recognition as much as it was about always getting the tongue-lashing when he did something wrong. this guys does a lot. he is going to school for his degree, puts in ministry hours like you wouldn’t believe and shockingly does not get paid what he believes he is worth.
time to pay your dues... well, that is what i was told anyway. and it was rightly told to me. i felt like that a lot of the time in my early days of ministry. i continued to listen to him and remembered how much i had to get done all of the time. the difference between me and him was that i had the help and guidance of a mentor. this guy is on his own. he does not have a guy like Cobb in his life. he is the head honcho... in his early twenties. the guy’s got a family to take care of. he wants to continue to do ministry but does not know what he can do to hold on. i told him that if he really felt that God wanted him in ministry then hold on like crazy.
as i told this young guy in ministry, he was not alone. there were a lot of peeps in the same situation. i told him that a lot would change as he moved along in ministry only if he was willing to grow. and, some things would stay the same; stuff like the work load and the time required. and having a young family would definitely continue to be a concern and struggle. but it would be important for him to keep the message simple. I remember one of my mentors once to remember the acronym K.I.S.S. this stands for “keep it simple, stupid.” awesome. i know i heard that somewhere before but when i heard it from my mentor it really sunk in.
we get caught up too much and too often in insane thought that God needs us. we are part of this plan and are given the chance to have influence in many lives because God has called us. when i learned that it was not my plan and that i was going to have the ministry struggles for my whole life, that the old guys in ministry are still handling the same stuff, i was encouraged. and i still am. that is why i continue to talk to men and women who have been doing ministry way longer than me. they keep my mind on what matters, the stuff that i can influence and that the rest i need to not worry about. so, if you are struggling in ministry, just remember that if you keep it simple you may have a few less worries - you know, the parts of your life and ministry that you can’t really change. tell your mentors how you feel... you might just find they have and still are dealing with the struggles of ministry.