170201hard-times-stressed-silhouetteEver feel overwhelmed, depressed, discouraged, burned out by the demands that surround the ministry?

When the challenges of ministry and faithfulness in preaching the gospel began to overwhelm me, a book entitled The Power of the Call (Blackaby, Brandt and Skinner) was excellent reading.

Full-time and bivocational pastors deal with these same challenges at various times. Here are six tips to help us refocus during difficult days when we might even question our call:

(1) Reflect back to your call. Recall how clearly and pointedly the call of God was to you personally.

(2) Remember why we are where we are in ministry at this time. God sent us where we are.

(3) We will have problems that will seem like huge boulders falling to crush us. Pray that God will help us see how those boulders become stepping stones that strengthen our relationship with Him, our preaching of the gospel and our continuing witness of the gospel in our lives.

(4) Remember that the call is not about us; it is about the Lord. Being sensitive to others and loving them is more important than always getting our way.

(5) We do not know everything. We should never stop learning. When we think there’s nothing else to learn, we will stop growing. No growth leads to ministry death.

(6) We need to learn to share ministry with others. This is especially true for bivocational pastors, who have so many responsibilities that can occupy their time.

The words of the apostle Paul in Philippians 3:7-14 make good reading when we need to revisit our call and our commitment to that call. May the power of our call keep us focused on the task of preaching and sharing the glorious gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ in the days to come!

John Parrott is the interim Bivocational Ministry Specialist with the Tennessee Baptist Convention. To connect with John about these thoughts or thoughts you have about serving bivocational pastors and churches, email him at jparrott@tnbaptist.org or you may call him at 423.921.2488.


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