Ministerial Exhaustion

Years ago, our pastoral staff took a retreat.  I can remember we really didn’t talk a bunch on the van ride up.  We were all very tired, and honestly, we were very drained with our jobs.

I remember spending a long time on our face before God.  These weren’t bold prayers concerning the health of our church.  These were pastors who were exhausted and tired and pleading to God for help.

What we talked about those few days was how we were overwhelmed with the pace of ministry.  The programs and events of the church were booming, yet we were exhausted and unsure if our efforts were actually assisting any real life change.  From that week, a lot of things at the church changed for the better.  Our entire staff got fired and rehired.  We changed jobs and really started focusing on people over programs.

Two weeks ago, our pastoral staff took another retreat.  We were all very tired yet again, yet this time we were overwhelmed for another reason.

This time, we weren’t overwhelmed with the needs of programs.  We were overwhelmed with the needs of people.  We each felt like there were more people and more needs than we knew what to do with.  At each break, we would all be on our phones or computers checking in on different situations that could have used our attention.  We were addressing needs of more than people in our groups, even more than the people in our groups of 100, or even our membership.  Each of us where feeling like there were so many legitimate needs of people who needing discipling, encouraging, or equipping.

I can see the shift happening in our congregation.  People over programs.  It’s a great thing.  And don’t think that only our staff are feeling this, many of our members are feeling the same way as they are truly discipling each other.  The hardest thing is when you hear of additional needs that feel unmet.  I have yet to have a day since working here where I was looking for something to do.  There’s always more people that need help.  More encouraging.  More discipling.

It’s a Wednesday.  Today, I am so thankful for all that is being done at our church, and yet, there is still so much left to be done.

Jesus, show yourself strong.