Not Alone (End of Lewis Fellows)
I don’t think the regular lay member or people outside of ministry understand just how lonely ministry can be. I don’t think some people realize how hard ministry is, either and how much a pastor has to endure. Every time a youth has come up to me inquiring about going into ministry, my initial response is to try to talk him or her out of it. Ministry isn’t a job. It’s a calling. And if you’re not called into ministry, when crap hits the fan you have nothing to ground you. When you’re called, there’s a deep sense of knowing that, despite all that stuff, God has called you.
I’m currently sitting at an empty gate in the Atlanta airport, waiting for my flight to Los Angeles, which won’t board for another hour or so. I just wrapped up my year as a Lewis Fellows. There are countless things I’ve learned through this program and am looking forward to the day when I can really start applying things I’ve learned here. But more than the workshops, what I truly value is the friendships that were formed throughout the year.
It’s nice and reassuring to know that there are other people crazy like me, serving in ministry, and more importantly, people who are my age. It’s not a secret that a lot of times, in UMC clergy gatherings, people have decades and decades on me (us).
Our last gathering in DC, we visited a baptist whose lead pastor is a female (and so is their associate). I know, right!? It was really cool to hear the journey that this church has been under her leadership. But things weren’t so easy. A huge conflict within her church ultimately put too much strain on her marriage. She endured through the conflict within the church, and she endured through her personal life’s situation. I can’t (and don’t really want to) imagine how painful and lonely ministry could’ve been for her.
And no one tells you that. Okay, no… people do tell you that ministry’s going to be hard. But you don’t quite understand how hard and how difficult it is until you go through it and experience firsthand how much joy and life ministry and Christ’s body can suck out of you.
That’s why it’s always important to remember that you’re never alone, and you shouldn’t be. The pastor of the Baptist church was a Lewis Fellow, and she said that the program saved her life. It’s good and important to have a group of friends who are not part of your local church. It’s important to have people in your life who you can just unload on, vent, and rant without the fear of somehow, someway this rant ends up in the ears of the people of your church.
I know that when things get rough, I’ll have people who I can call upon.
I think many clergy are eager and willing to drop everything to help someone in their congregation (or people in general) who is in need… but for some reason, we’re a bit more hesitant to ask for help, even when we know that we need help. We should give ourselves space to allow ourselves to receive the love and grace that we show others.
It’s thoroughly important to remember that God has called us into ministry, because that calling and God’s grace is the foundation of who we are as pastors and as persons. But, we’re created to be in relationships; to be in communion with other Images of God. We’re not meant to live alone and isolated. Therefore, we’re definitely not meant to live in ministry alone and isolated.
- Octavia Carter just moved in. Take time to say hey.
- Debbie Harris published the blogpost May Jesus Christ Be The Ultimate Treasure We Always Seek by Debbie Harris..
- Debbie Harris published the blogpost Father Who Can We Graciously And Humbly Walk Beside Today Just To Love by Debbie Harris.
- Bryce Johnson just moved in. Take time to say hey.
- Bill Reichart published the blogpost 13 Resources For Ministry Leaders Who Struggle with Porn.
- Mike Liebler published the blogpost Expert Reveals Biggest Concern About Youngsters And Social Media.
- Mike Liebler published the blogpost Half (54%) Of US Teens Think Life Would Be Better Without Social Media.
- Jeffrey Totey published the blogpost Roy Lichtenstein's Most Popular Painting is Displayed.
- Mike Liebler published the blogpost After Confronting Campus Bully, HS Football Player Gets Suspended.
- Mike Liebler published the blogpost Conservative Student Is Victim Of ‘Racist Rape Apologist’ Attack Fliers.
- Mike Liebler published the blogpost Yik Yak app Putting Teens Behind Bars, Police Warn.
- Mike Liebler published the blogpost Hearing That Things Can Change Helps Teens Dodge Depression.
- Andrew Shivers just moved in. Take time to say hey.
- Daniel DeHart published the blogpost GIVEAWAY: Win a Framed “The Fault in Our Stars” FULL SIZE Movie Poster [Winner Chosen].
- Jeffrey Totey published the blogpost ‘Boxtrolls:’ Incredible Animation, Charmless Story.
- Jeffrey Totey published the blogpost Video of the Day: Dad Lip-Syncs Daughter's Tantrum.
- Michael Ernest published the blogpost SOTW: ‘Chasing After The Wind’ by Alan Powell (Free Friday Download).
- Matt Perman published the blogpost The Drive Video: If You Want Engagement, Self-Direction is Better.
- LuAnn Braley published the blogpost BOOK REVIEW/INTERVIEW: The Unexpected Earl by Philippa Jane Keyworth.
- Shane Blackshear published the blogpost Seminary Dropout 55: Gary Black Jr. – Co-author of The Divine Conspiracy Continued.
- Lori Fogleman published the blogpost ‘Believe Me': Alum’s thought-provoking film now in theaters.
- Michael Ramsey published the blogpost Stress Kills!!! Here's 3 Ways To Do Something About It.
- Larry Carter published the blogpost How The New Fall TV Season Reminds Me Of The Gospel.
- Brad Hambrick published the blogpost Overcoming Depression-Anxiety: A Suffering Paradigm (Seminar Videos).
- Brad Hambrick published the blogpost Overcoming Depression-Anxiety: A Personal Responsibility Paradigm (Seminar Videos).
- Brad Hambrick published the blogpost 20 Approaches to Battling Depression-Anxiety as Suffering.
- Daniel DeHart published the blogpost Review: ‘Hellion’ is A Wild, Family-Driven Ride Worth Taking.
- Daniel DeHart published the blogpost Review: ‘How to Train Your Dragon 2′ is Cool, Uncommitted.
- Daniel DeHart published the blogpost “Kidnapped for Christ” Review: The Terror of Teens.
- Daniel DeHart published the blogpost Review: ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ Pieces Together a Winning Team.
- Ashley Howland published the blogpost Talking about cancer on WFAA’s ‘Two Chairs’ series.
- Daniel DeHart published the blogpost Get Excited: New ‘Believe Me’ Trailer Validates Everything We Thought.
- solomon david published the blogpost Micromax Canvas Nitro Launched for Rs 12,990 in India.
- solomon david published the blogpost 20 Mobile (iOS, Android) App & Web Prototyping Tools – Part2.
- Walter Bright published the blogpost Bloodlines: John Piper ‘ s Story of Race And Grace.